Monday, December 3, 2012

Enlightenment and Romanticism

Sense and Sensibility

            After viewing the show I believe that it is clear that the author and director have defined different and

 distinct roles for the sisters. Marianne is very romantic minded and is driven by her romanticism in every 

facet of her life. From the very beginning of the movie she states her intentions with love by stating her 

displeasure with Elinor due to the manner in which Elinor handles her relationship with Edward Farrars. She 

does so by chiding and ridiculing her for entertaining a man that could not even read poetry up to the 

romantic standards that Marianne believed was proper. Marianne’s romanticism was of particular display 

and most noticeable when she questioned if Elinor’s love for Edward was a fancy or a feeling. Fancy being 

because it would be a logical or popular thing to do and a feeling being true emotion.

            Marianne also displayed her romantic personality in many other ways throughout the movie. She 

displayed a very commonly romantic attitude when she fell in love with John Willoughby at first sight. You 

could tell by her actions that even though she knew very little about him she was madly in love and showed 

her true intentions by hastily requesting that her mother fetch his name as he left her home in that scene. She 

also showed much more affection for Willoughby when he romantically picked her some wildflowers instead 

of the generic types that Colonel Brandon had brought moments before.    

            In bright contrast to Marianne, Elinor was quite the opposite and led a very logical and reasonable 

quest for love. In the face of disgust and contempt from Marianne for her ways, Elinor stayed true to her 

heart and eventually found peace and love in her own manner. Elinor displayed this logical thinking most 

evidently when Willoughby was leaving her sister to head to London and start a new life. While her sister 

was weeping and wailing, Elinor was logically thinking about Willoughby’s countenance and actions looking 

for a sign that would perhaps give away his true intentions. She always took a more cerebral approach to 

her relationships.

            While the sisters were in London their actions revealed much about their approach to love. 

Marianne was very focused on her own goals and was bound and determined to find Willoughby and 

reconnect with him. While this was happening, Elinor was having a struggle of her own but put it aside to 

focus and help her sister find peace amongst her struggles. Elinor even accuses Marianne of being selfish 

only focusing on her problems.  I believe because Marianne is so up front with her emotions and wears them 

on her sleeve, she seems more easily prone to suffering. Elinor protects her emotions by keeping her feeling 

vested in side of her. After Elinor confronts her about her selfishness, she still helps Marianne through her 


            Due to the heartbreak that Marianne experiences because of her romanticism I believe that Jane 

Austen and the director are leading us to believe that if we use logic and reason in our relationships we will 

be better off in the long run. I don’t think it was just a coincidence that Marianne almost died of heartbreak. 

I believe it is a strongly suited metaphor that sends us the message to keep reasoning close by when our 

heart is full of love.