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Sense & Sensibility - Narrative Style
Transcript of Sense & Sensibility - Narrative Style
Elinor as Austen
Comparison of loves
Austen's Narrative choice allows for a mediated and filtered view of events which give the reader the correct dose of self pity vs. critical judgement. By choosing to focus on Elinor, Austen has chosen to maintain true to herself and deliver authentic opinions about both her context and personalized believes.
Post-revolutionary society: Austen wishes to show the unspoken side of events - feminine side.
Distances herself from individuality: "By a Lady."
Trough Elinor - develops the narrative in a less emotionally tarnished way, which is the most autobiographical character of the book:
"[she] possessed a strength of understanding, and coolness of judgement."
Goldwin Smith: "The solid foundation of her own character was good sense."
Choosing an omniscient narrator over a first person narrative - Austen preserves Elinor's individuality.
Allows for unbiased judgment of Marianne's behavior without the sisterly relationship in between.
"it is only through the establishment of narrative distance (...) that events acquire the sort of perspective that can promote judgment rather than identification."
Austen wishes to "[Hold] a mirror up to her time"; by criticizing:
Omniscient for perspective
The third-person limited narration enables Austen to Write about women in both a personal level as well as with and outsider perspective.
"Marianne was silent; it was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, (...) upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it."
"Sir John set of directly to their cottage (...) to assure them of their being the sweetest girls in the world [Miss Steele's]."
Criticism towards motherhood - Children as either representations or contrasts to their parents.
Motherhood as an egotistic resource.
Motherly responsibility < Sisterly care.
"Although Elinor Dashwood is not a first-person narrator, most of the story is told through her eyes and Austen seems to agree with all of her opinions. Why do you think the author chose this method of storytelling?"
Semi autobiografical setting - Elinor is the most representative.
Personalized opinions through Elinor's characterization.
Austen wished to portay her current time:
AO5: "Life in unelectric, untelergraphic; it is spent more quietly and it is spent at home."
Marriage as an ultimatum for women.
Her emotional frustrations transmitted through Elinor's passiveness.
Tom Lefroy = Edward ferrars.
"I have had all this hanging on my mind, without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature."
Criticism towards women:
By: Isabel Klein
"Marianne's unshakeable belief that men and women should only love once"
Irony towards her existence.
Childish and selfish approach.
Narrative allows us to see the greater picture:
Marianne's experiences as the mere repetition of her older sister's.
"The main contrast (...) lies in Marianne's Romantic Insistence thet desires to be spoken, whereas Elinor requires that they be silenced."
Gains the empathy of the readers without direct demand for it.