3.) Sensibility We have discussed the overblown representation of sensibility (as defined by Janet Todd) in Austen’s novella Love and Freindship.
Paraphrase how it is represented in this short work,
then explain the degree to which one or more characters in her Pride and Prejudice comes closest to the representation in her novella.
Then, finally, comment on which film version you think best represents the representation of sensibility in Love and Freindship. Substantiate your insights with material from primary and/or secondary sources.
Love and Freindship was written to satirically attack the ideals of sensibility. By using ironic demonstrations of narratives, Austen oversimplifies the themes of love and friendship to clearly showcase the stereotypes of sensibility. These exaggerations of characters created comical clichés. Even at an adolescent age, Austen was able to identify the flaws of the romantic views of her time. Austen openly ridicules the sensibility movement through sentimental letters. By completely contrasting the Romantic period, she is able to write about endless partnership between two characters while simultaneously insulting the meaning of true (sensible) love. Love and Freindship is snickering at the concept of “love at first sight.”
This novella is composed of fifteen letters, narrated by Laura to her friend, Isabel, and Isabel’s daughter Marianne. Each woman is written to comically display the explicit ideals of the cult of sensibility. This resulted in implausible plots, fainting spells, nervous system attacks, and passionate emotions. “Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground – I screamed and instantly ran mad. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation – Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves” (Austen, Letter 13). These events were purposefully illogical, Austen was exaggerating the already exaggerated women she was seeing in other romances of her time. Only women in these novels were so erratic, whereas Austen wanted to see characters as more realistic with coherent thought rather than the spur of the moment notions of romanticism. Love and Freindship is sodden with disdain and scolding remarks on love, and Austen’s true feelings are brought out. She is obvious in her sarcasm when Laura and Edward spontaneously wed, resulting in Edward’s boast of ignoring his father’s parental consent. The most obvious use of...