Compare and Contrast the Characters of Elinor and Marianne

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  • 1. Topic • Compare and contrast the characters of Elinor and Marianne. • Name: Sejal Chauhan • Paper:5 – The Romantic Literature • Roll No: 28 • M.A. Part-1 Sem-2 • Submitted to: Smt. S.B.Gardi. Department of English M.K.Bhavnagar University.
  • 2. The physical Appearance of the two Sisters • Elinor and Marianne offer a sharp and striking contrast in the novel Sense and Sensibility. • There is even bigger contrast between their temperaments, nature, their mental and moral make-ups. • Elinor has a delicate complexion,regular feature, and a remarkably pretty figure. • Marianne is even more beautiful. • Thus Marianne may physically be described as an alluring and enchanting girl, while Elinor is physically just presentable or just attractive and full of grace and charm.
  • 3. Sense versus Sensibility, the most striking contrast in the novel • Elinor we are told, possesses a strength of understanding and a coolness of judgement by virtue of which she, though only nineteen years of age, is qualified to act as her mothers counsellor. • Elinor’s disposition is certainly affectionate, and her feelings are certainly strong. But she knows how to gavern her affections and her feelings. • This capacity to gavern the feeling and the emotions is something alien to her mother as well as to her sister Marianne.
  • 4. • Marianne’s abilities are in many respects quite equal to Elinor’s. • She is sensible and clever but she is too eager in everthing so that her sorrows and her joys know no moderation. • She is everything but prudent and in this respect she resembles her mother closely. • The entire contrast between the characters of Elinor and Marianne may be summed up by saying that, while Elinor embodies Sense, Marianne embodies Sensibility.
  • 5. Their Different Criteria of Judging Edward’s Worth • Edward Ferrars’s visit to Northland Park. • Elinor and Marianne react to this young man in absolutely different ways. • Elinor begins to admire and love him, while Marianne cannot understand why Elinor not only admires him but has also fallen in love with him. • Marrianne finds Edward’s manner of reading out a poem to be spiritless, tame, and devoid of sensibility.
  • 6. • She also feels disappointed by Edward’s having no taste for music and having no capacity even to admire Elinor’s drawing or the beauties of nature in the right perspective. • Elinor feels attracted by Edward because of what she regards as his sense and his goodness. • She is attracted by Edward’s views about literature, by his enjoyment of books, his lovely imagination and his accurate observation.
  • 7. Elinor’s Adverse Reaction to Marianne’s Friendship with Willoughby • Marianne becomes quickly attached to willoughby after her very first meeting with him. • She then begins to move about freely in his company. • Elinor feels somewhat worried by this friendship which comes to the notice of everyone who knows them.She even suggests to Marianne to show some more self-command, to avoid going about openly in Willoughby’s company. • She continues going about with Willoughby openly. • She even agrees to accept from Willoughby the gift of horse though it is not possible for her to maintain and feed a horse. • Elinor urges not to accept the gift.
  • 8. Elinor’s Capacity to Subdue Her Unhappiness and Marianne’s Incapacity • Elinor, though feeling very unhappy about Edward’s despondency of mood at the time of his departure from Barton Cottage after a week’s stay there, is able to subdue her unhappiness by her sheer firmness and her determination to do so. • When Willoughby had suddenly departed from Barton Cottage after a very short visit, Marianne had felt very unhappy and had augmented her sorrow by seeking silence, solitude and idelness. • In this context the author writes: • “Their means were as different as their objects and equally suited to the advancement of each.”
  • 9. The Sister’s Different Reactions to their Frustrations in Love • When Elinor learns that Edward is commited to marry Lucy, and that he is persisting in his sense of loyality to that girl, Elinor has every reason to shed tears of distress and to make herself miserable. • But far from doing so, she actually tries to give comfort to Marianne who is feeling more upset by Edward’s resolve than even Elinor. • Elinor’s reasoning subdues Marianne who now feels so affected by Elinor’s silent suffering and endurance that She apologizes to Elinor, saying: • “How barbarous have I been to you! Is this my gratitude?”
  • 10. Marianne’s Illness, and Elinor’s Reaction to it • Marianne’s illness is a matter of some physical deficiency, but • Actually it is a case of a mental or psychological anxiety taking the shape of a physical illness. • The point is that Elinor suffers too, but that she can rise above her suffering while Marianne cannot do so . • That is why we agree with the view of a critic who says: • “ Elinor is not unfeeling,nor is Marianne entirely senseless.”
  • 11. Elinor, the More Formidable Figure in the novel • Because of her greater firmness, stamina,and powers of endurance and as such the trade heroine of the novel. • We certainly do not agree with the critics who believe that Marianne is the true heroine and that Marianne is the life and centre of the novel because of her vivacity, her wit, her more pleasing personality and her amiability. • Elinor comes first; Marianne occupies the second position in the novel, though each of then is a heroine in the technical sense of that word.
  • 12. Thank You