Sense and Sensibility is one of the exhilarating novel of Jane Austen with good measure of wit and irony. It is a story of two sisters very much unlike in character and especially their behavior after they suffer the disloyalty of their loved ones. Elinor, a sage and prudent being bore all the affliction of her breakup with much forbearance.She bottled up all her emotion with fortitude in comparison with Marianne, who has an impetuous and passionate nature undergone most violent of emotions at the breach of trust by her love.
Mrs. Dashwood along with her three daughters Elinor, Marianne and Margaret (oldest to youngest) are made to quit Norland after her husband’s death because of the clever schemes of her daughter-in-law Fanny Ferrars, a proud and conceited lady. She along with her submissive husband deprives her sister-in-laws of all the help and assistance which his husband promised to his dying father at his deathbed. It was in Norland, where Elinor develops acquaintance with Edward Ferrars, brother of Fanny Ferrars. Their growing acquaintance was constant displeasure to her and she detests Elinor more than before. After leaving Norland, Dashwoods settled in a small Barton cottage. Meanwhile Marianne feelings become indulgent with handsome and wealthy John Willoughby by an unexpected incident. Marianne depiction of her tender emotions for Willoughby and indifference for others was something that Elinor couldn’t approve of. Marianne and Willoughby open association become food for gossip at every gathering and damage the feelings of Colonel Brandon who was the secret admirer of Marianne. In the meantime Elinor sank into despair when she heard that Edward, whom she loves deeply, is going to marry cunning and selfish Lucy Steele. Elinor concealed her disappointments at the apparent loss and kept it all in her heart. Later Marianne, more intense in her emotions, receive letter of Willoughby describing his longstanding attachment with someone else and seek her forgiveness for hurting her emotions. He was to soon marry a rich lady who has fifty-thousand-pounds affixed to her.
The books with its engaging characters like glib-talking woman Mrs. Jennings, who was of considerable help to both sisters at the time of their sufferings, and gregarious and jovial Mr. John Middleton, is an interesting read. Like all other Jane Austen novels the protagonist are civil, gallant and well-bred.
Sense and sensibility have not caught much attention of readers but of critics. Jane Austen is usually criticized for her writings lack strong feelings. In Sense and Sensibility, as to my perception, Marianne being succumbed to middle aged Colonel Brandon after splitting from Willoughby rather easily was quite astonishing. Similarly, the character of Edward who was introduced as a shy and without proper learning, became rather ambiguous at the end of novel. All, of course ends happily but still the novel is more about the quarrelsome dissimilarity and vexing relation of two sisters.
In nutshell, Sense and Sensibility is the novel of great intellectual beauty. It underlines the social satire of how wealth can make people emotional beggars and this is acclaimed to Jane Austen style of inscription. It depicts how the economic affluence can impact everyone. The story is weaved beautifully with a tinge of suspense that hooked up the readers till the very end.