Social Confinement in Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

1059 Words Feb 4th, 2018 4 Pages
This confinement of the setting mirrors the social confinement of a woman versus a man in the societal structure at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. While Austen studies the societal position of women in most of her novels, her early work Sense and Sensibility, is perhaps the most interesting to take into consideration when reviewing the issue of confinement. In it Austen juxtaposes the freedom of the countryside exteriors with the confinement of the city’s interiors. These settings serve as a backdrop for the exploration of two female characters whose social status has been set back as a result of the primogeniture of the time.
Austen’s novels have always been lauded for their social commentary and critique. The most common issue they depict is the dependency of women in society upon men, specifically their reliance on marriage as a source of income. The characters of Marianne and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility are two such characters, who due to their estate and income being inherited by their stepbrother, are left to their own devices of securing a favorable marriage. The two sisters, so different in character, mirror the contrast of the depictions of interiors and nature in the novel. The free-spirited…
Open Document