The Women of Sense and Sensibility


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My term paper presentation on the women of Sense and Sensibility. Discusses the plot of the novel by Jane Austen, compares the fictional female characters of the story to real women of the Victorian era, and then compares those women to women of the 21st Century. Includes a short youtube movie as well as an original game entitled "How would you survive as a 19th Century Woman?".

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The Women of Sense and Sensibility

  1. 1. The Women of Sense and Sensibility
  2. 2. Thesis:
  3. 3. <ul><li>The characters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility conduct themselves in a manner that many women of that time period also behaved; no matter what obstacles they faced, their focus was always finding a husband to secure a comfortable future . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Characters:
  5. 5. <ul><li>Elinor Dashwood: </li></ul><ul><li>The eldest daughter of the Dashwood family at 19 years old. She forms the “sense” in the title of Austen’s novel. She is reserved and practical and often serves as her mother’s counselor. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Marianne Dashwood: </li></ul><ul><li>At 17 Marianne is the second oldest daughter in the Dashwood family. Unlike her sister who is quiet and reserved, Marianne is spontaneous and encourages excess sensibility. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Mrs. Dashwood: </li></ul><ul><li>The mother of Elinor, Marianne and their younger sister Margaret and second wife of Mr. Henry Dashwood. She is kind, loving and romantic, just like Marianne and only wants what’s best for her daughters, which is finding suitable marriages. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Fanny Dashwood: </li></ul><ul><li>The selfish wife of John Dashwood, Mr. Dashwood’s son from his first marriage. She is manipulative and greedy. Her goal is always to have money. She convinces her weak-willed husband to stop supporting his mother and two younger sisters a little after their father dies . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Plot:
  10. 10. <ul><li>When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies his house and estate is left to his only son, John Dashwood. The rest of his children are all female so they could not inherit anything from their father. This left them all penniless and without a home. </li></ul><ul><li>In the beginning, Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret are able to live with John because of a promise he made to his father. However, his greedy wife, Fanny, manipulates John into turning out his family and leaving them with only 500 pounds apiece. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Elinor was sad to leave their home because she had recently become attached to Edward Ferras, Fanny’s brother, but the women all move to Barton Park to live with some distant relatives. </li></ul><ul><li>At Barton Park the women are introduced to Colonel Brandon and John Willoughby. John Willoughby openly courts Marianne and she becomes quite miserable when he suddenly leaves for business in London. Also while staying at Barton Park, the Dashwood sisters meet Anne and Lucy Steele. Elinor finds out to her silent dismay that Lucy is secretly engaged to Edward Ferras. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>After traveling to London, Elinor and Marianne learn that many people have been talking of an engagement between Willoughby and Marianne. However, when Marianne does see Willoughby he ignores her and later writes a letter denying any feelings that he has for her. </li></ul><ul><li>In questioning his behavior, the girls learn that Willoughby had a history of acts such as these and has spent all of his fortune and was therefore interested in marrying a wealthy heiress, Ms. Grey. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>When the Dashwood sisters return home they learn that Lucy Steele is engaged to Mr. Ferras. Thinking that it is Edward, they are not surprised but Edward soon shows to correct their assumptions. The greedy Lucy Steele is engaged to Robert Ferras, Edwards younger brother because ironically he is to inherit their mother’s fortune after Edward is disinherited by his mother for being engaged to Lucy in the first place. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon after, Edward proposes to Elinor and Colonel Brandon proposes to Marianne. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The 19 th century woman:
  15. 16. <ul><li>Although the era is named after the reigning monarch of the time, Queen Victoria, women had basically the same rights as children. </li></ul><ul><li>Women could not vote, sue or own property. </li></ul><ul><li>Women were seen as clean and pure. Their bodies were like temples and should not have been defiled with make-up or pre-marital sex. </li></ul><ul><li>The only job proper women were allowed to hold was that of a teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Although they were treated like saints, they had no legal rights. </li></ul>
  16. 17. The 21 st Century Woman:
  17. 18. Nowadays, Women can vote.
  18. 19. They can own their own land and homes.
  19. 20. They can choose what they want to do, where they want to work, and if they even want to get married.
  20. 21. <ul><li>Society’s view of a woman’s role has evolved over the past few hundred years. Women of today may look back on Victorian women and be appalled at how they were treated, but a woman of the Victorian era may as well be just as appalled at how women behave today. The role that anyone plays in society comes from society’s view as a whole. </li></ul>
  21. 22. How would you survive as a 19 th Century Woman? The Game
  22. 23. <ul><li>1. Your father recently died, leaving your mother, you and your four other sisters with little money. You… </li></ul><ul><li>a. immediately find your best dress and attend all the balls so that eligible bachelors can dance with you. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>b. take a job as a tutor for your distant aunt’s children. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>c. sit around all day hoping that some handsome, wealthy young man will find you. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>2. You are known for your… </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>a. love of books </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>b. lovers </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>c. good looks or other talent such as playing the piano </li></ul><ul><li>3. Would you wear a corset? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>a. Yes </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>b. No </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>4. What is your number one priority? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>a. finding a husband </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>b. being happy </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>c. helping others </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>5. In looking for a dress for a ball, which of the following would you accentuate? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>a. wrists…it’ll be risky, but the men will notice me more </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>b. waist…a slender waist is what I’m looking for </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>c. eyes..the color of the dress must compliment my eyes and make me look mysterious </li></ul>
  23. 24. 0-2 The ruined maiden You wasted the time you should have been using to find a suitable husband by flirting with men. You could be seen at parties batting your eyelashes at many fellows. Be careful! This seemingly innocent flirting could result into something worse so that you may never be seen as fit for a respectable marriage.
  24. 25. 3-5 The governess Maybe you’re not very handsome, maybe you just like helping others. Congratulations on your smarts and compassion. However, that won’t get you very far in the world. You may be able to make some money to send your family or even buy a new dress. But what’s the point in flashy clothing when you’re just going to watch the children all day.
  25. 26. 6-9 The wife Congratulations! You’ve made it to the top. Well technically speaking, your husband probably has but you’ve done well marrying a rich man. Look he’s so rich you can commission a painting of yourself! Good job going to all the balls, knowing the right people and conducting yourself in a respectable manner. Now go have fun and make lots of kids-hopefully a son so there is an heir to your husband’s estate.