Elinor’s Isolation

4 April 2015
An analysis Jane Austen’s `Sense and Sensibility`, focusing on the character of Elinor Dashwood.

An examination of a minor theme in this classical novel. The writer points out that the major themes of class division, social values, the joy and pain of love, and the overriding importance of money are often addressed while the minor theme of isolation is often dismissed. The theme of isolation is directed at the character of Elinor and how she deals with these emotions.
`The isolation that is suffered by Elinor is clearly not physical as, throughout the novel, she is surrounded by family and friends, and enjoys the romantic attention of men. Elinor’s isolation is purely emotional, and is caused by her natural ability to keep her feelings under control, and by a desire to conform to the social values of that era, which required that women, even those who were intelligent or talented, should remain in the background.

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Austen informs the reader of Elinor’s reserved and private personality very early in the book and, in chapter one she describes her character as, ` affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them.` `

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