View Full Version : sense and sensibility- A quest

04-08-2006, 08:51 AM
The author, Jane Austen, like her contemporaries, attempts to understand and identify the life of an individual in terms of force of reason and emotion.
She tries to discover the meaning of events and personality at the basis of these two forces. She can't decide as to which force has to be accepted or primeval one. She is influenced by the contemporary antagonism between the standpoints of the two so it a quest for understanding the roles of these two ( reason and emotion ) in human life.

olivia s
02-24-2007, 06:31 PM
She can't decide as to which force has to be accepted or primeval one.

It seems like she is questioning the validity of straight-out emotion as an appropriate response. Is this what you were trying to say?

It's so funny, but Star Trek does the exact same thing, albeit in an entirely different environment. Of course, the perceived focus was on the enigma of the week, but the exploration of the roles of logic and compassion in determining solutions was always one of the most interesting parts of the series.

A lot of people ascribe the main conflict in the novel to one between reason and emotion, but I think it would be more accurately described as between reserve and straighforwardness. The main contrast between the sisters was, to me, that Elinor was content to play along with the existing system and thereby was able to have influence within it, while Marianne wanted nothing to do with social games whatsoever. Interestingly, it's only these two, Edward Ferrars, and Col Brandon, who are able to look upon it with some perspective, while the other characters seem totally engrossed with their contrived little world of drawing room intrigue and matchmaking. While Austen advocates the first approach, I'm not really convinced that it makes for a happier person - although being able to see outside of it is certainly a mark of intelligence.