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Sense and Sensibility
by Austen, Jane
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1. What's the significance of Austen's title? What's the difference between the words 'sense' and 'sensibility' & and which sister represents which word? Which matters more in choosing a mate, or are they equally important?

2. Does Austen seem to favor one sister over the other?

3. Are Elinor and Marianne merely 'types' of representatives of 'sense and sensibility' or do they stand on their own as complex, fully developed human beings?

4. Do we respond to her characters differently now than her contemporaries might have?

5. How does Fanny Dashwood make it clear her brother Edward is not for Elinor? What does this suggest about the role of marriage for the upper classes?

6. Are Edward's intentions to Elinor fair and honorable? Do you admire him? Is he overly passive, honorable, loyal& or what?

7. What do the sisters' descriptions of and reactions to Edward tell us about each of them and about their ideas of love?

8. What are Marianne's objections to Colonel Brandon?

9. Do you sometimes find yourself sympathetic to John Willoughby despite his abandonment of Marianne? Does Austen plant clues to Willoughby's character early on?

10. In Austen's novel what social constraints are placed on choosing a mate and for what reasons? Do similar restraints exist today?

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