Sense_Sensibility_RD - The Romantic Experience Professor...

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The Romantic Experience Professor Eykman 10 March 2008 Sense versus Sensibility Jane Austen uses many counterpart characters in her novel Sense and Sensibility to contrast those who fit into the austere landed gentry of society, and those who show more romantic tendencies influenced by strong emotions. While this is seen with many characters throughout the story, including sisters Elinor and Marianne, the comparison of Edward Ferrars with John Willoughby provides the most telling and well-developed example of the distinction of the two types of people. Edward Ferrars is extremely humble and does not seem to fit in with the landed gentry of society nor the social class his family is a part of. While he appreciates art and is able to hold a conversation, Edward is not a genius or have strong intellectual skills. He is not even all that good-looking. However, these qualities seem to make him realistic and sensible, even more so than most of his genteel relatives. His humbleness helps him to control his emotions for the most part and focus on the other people around him rather than himself. Edward’s mother and sister “…wanted him to make a fine figure in the world in some manner or other. His mother wished to interest him to political concerns, to get him into parliament, or to see him connected with some of the great men of the day…But Edward had no turn for great men…All his wishes centered in domestic comfort and the quiet of private life,” (31). Although Edward’s family wants him to go into a profession that is extremely public, he is not self-centered and looking for glory, but instead just wants to settle down and not draw attention to himself within society. This mentality is unlike most members of his societal class, but by choosing this, Edward gains respect and honor.
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Edward is always looking to do the right thing, even if it is not what his emotions want. This is most clearly shown with the Lucy Steele episode. Edward ends up feeling that after what
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Sense_Sensibility_RD - The Romantic Experience Professor...

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