Sense and Sensibility Essay

In Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen tells the stories of two women on opposite ends of the behavioral spectrum to validate the positive effects of learning to balance emotions. On one end is Elinor Dashwood; a rational and shrewd girl who approaches life and its complications with a levelhead, and on the other end is Marianne Dashwood; a lively, passionate girl who plunges into situations without thinking them through. In an interaction between the two sisters and Willoughby, Jane Austen uses body language and syntax to display Elinor and Marianne’s conflicting personalities and create a contrast that reveals how irrational Marriane is acting due to the imbalance of her emotions. 

Jane Austen focuses on Marianne’s body language to assure readers that the rapid swing of emotions displayed is authentic and leading to a lapse in her judgement. Marianne has a passionate relationship with Willoughby, so she is blindsided by his indifference when she reunites with him at the ball in London. As a result, Marianne’s reaction to Willoughby’s behavior is intense, and prevents her from noticing how her actions might look to those around her. Jane Austen conveys a lot of Marianne’s intense emotions through her body language. She does this because various characters in Sense and Sensibility are deceitful and do not voice what they are truly feeling, making it hard for readers to immediately trust everything they are saying. Therefore, when Austen minimizes Marianne’s words and simply displays her body’s natural reaction to her emotions, readers can get a sense of Marianne’s raw feelings without doubting their authenticity. Austen first employs Marianne’s body language to describe her face as “glowing with sudden delight” (Austen, 167) when she first sees Willoughby at the ball. The word “glowing” calls to mind the image of a bright light and suggests that Marrianne’s reaction is visible to everyone around her. In this time period, women were not supposed to be too forward with men because it was considered unladylike and made them an undesirable match. This means that Marianne’s reaction is risky and could tarnish her reputation. She knows this, but it can be assumed that her emotions are preventing her from realizing what she is doing. Austen uses this fact to introduce the idea that Marianne’s emotions lead to lapses in her judgement. In addition, Marianne is too blinded by her delight that she also does not notice Willoughby’s cold manner at first. As their interaction progresses, though, it becomes abundantly more clear, and Marianne’s happy glow fades as her face “crimsoned over” (Austen, 167). When he finally leaves, her face has become “dreadfully white” (Austen, 168) with shock. Readers can track the progression of Marianne’s emotions through her face pallor, and the change helps readers understand why she cannot get a grip and control her emotions as the interaction continues. 

Jane Austen uses Marianne’s inability to form coherent sentences to further displays her erratic emotions and how they cloud her judgement. In the regency era, conversations were meant to be light and mildly amusing, so disputes and outbursts of emotion were considered undignified. When Marianne speaks to Willoughby, she does not practice conversational etiquette or touch upon any of the allotted topics, but rather flings a flurry of questions at him. She asks him things like, “ ‘...what is the meaning of this? Have you not received my letters? Will you not shake hands with me?’ “ (Austen, 167) and “ ‘What can be the meaning of it? Tell me, Willoughby; for heaven’s sake… what is the matter?’ “ (Austen, 168). In general, people ask questions when they are confused, and it is no different here. Marianne barely says anything beyond her outbursts of questions and Austen does this to show readers that Marianne’s bafflement is overriding every other sense. Since this only causes Marianne to practice improper social skills, Austen is once again able to illustrate how Marianne’s emotions lead to a lapse in her judgement.

Jane Austen uses parallelism to compare Elinor’s behavior to Marianne’s in order to highlight how unrefined Marianne is acting at the ball. As Marianne becomes more visibly distressed, Elinor becomes Marianne’s impulse control, having not forgotten the risks that come with acting improper in a public setting. There is a contrast between the way Elinor and Marianne speak. Whereas Marianne uses flustered, short sentences, Elinor speaks in calm thoughtful sentences. This seems to suggest Elinor has a presence of mind that Marianne lacks. As Marianne spirals into her anxious thoughts, Elinor remains rational in an attempt to pacify her, suggesting that “ ‘Perhaps he has not observed you yet. ‘ “ (Austen, 167) and then advising Marianne to wait until the next day to confront Willoughby since the ball is “ ‘...not a place for explanations.’ “ (Austen, 168). This demonstrates Elinor’s intact composure and shows the readers that while Marianne is out of her mind, Elinor is not. Austen continues to use parallelism when the sisters actually speak to Willoughby. Marianne to launches into more stammered questions, and her “feelings… were instantly expressed.” (Austen, 167) but Elinor is “robbed of all presence of mind” and “unable to say a word” (Austen, 167) in response. Again, the contrast between the two sisters helps readers see how improper Marianne is acting as a result of her emotions.

Book Review The Roar 

The book I chose to write about is The Roar by Emma Clayton. Emma Clayton is a British children's writer who writes fiction and dystopian thrillers. She is 51 years of age and lives in Leamington Spa, England. Emma Clayton was born in the UK in 1968 and first trained as a field archeologist but became a freelance illustrator. She started writing and published her first novel at 26 and had it published in 2008 by Chicken House.

The Roar is a book set in the future about a boy who has lost his sister and doesn’t believe she’s dead like everyone else and will do anything to find her. He joins a government game along with the rest of the 12 year olds in hopes to find his sister by winning, and finds out something that changes everything. The story takes place about 50 years into the future where there has been a lab created animal plague so everybody has to live inside The Wall. The main character lives in the impoverished area called Barford North in London. The setting is significant to the story because the government ends up targeting the poorer children to start playing Pod Fighters which is a game that simulates you handling a sort of fighter jet which becomes a main component of the plot.

There are three major characters in this book. The first one is Mika Smith which the story is centered on for most of the story. He is a 12 year old half Indian half Caucasian mutant boy born in the Shadows, a poor part of their area and had lost his twin sister when he was 7 but, even though she was reported as dead, Mika doesn't believe she is. Mika is mentally connected to Ellie, but doesn't know it yet. He is strong willed and is determined to find his sister, even if it means entering a dangerous government game. He is important in this story because he is one of the best of the new generation of soldiers with the special abilities and he moves the story along with him . The next main character is Ellie Smith is MIka Smiths twin sister. She was kidnapped by Mal Gorman when she was 7 and has been trained to unleash her special powers. Ellie is smart, determined and thick skinned. She is mentally connected to Mika but doesn't know it yet. She despises Mal Gorman and hopes to see her brother. Ellie plays an important part in the story because she is the first of the army that Mal Gorman is building. The next main character is Mal Gorman. He is 108 years old and kidnapped Ellie Smith when she was 7 and he's trained her and held her hostage ever since. He is cold hearted and malicious. He is an important part of the story because he knows The Secret and is building an army of children which drives the story.

There are many main parts in The Roar. First, Mika’s grade gets picked to play a game called Pod Fighters and drink a strange drink called Fit Mix which is supposed to stimulate growth and made them strong. Mika refuses at first, but gets forced into it and continues. Next, the government introduces Fit Camp and it consists of rigorous training and fitness activities. And while Mika is meeting with his therapist, Helen who he tells everything to and she seems to know more about the big picture of all the events happening with the children and accidentally reveals to Mika that Ellie is still alive and that he can find her if he wins the game which motivates him to compete in the upcoming competition and win if it means finding his sister. Then, as Mika continues to win competitions, him and a few other finalists get picked to take a special pill that harnesses the special telekinesis powers that they could have. Mika, having the powers along with most of the finalists, Mika and his group travel to Cape Wrath where they will train more which is the same place Ellie was staying, and Mika feels himself getting closer to Ellie and becomes more determined to find her whatever the cost may be. Finally, Mika ends up winning the competition along with a couple of his friends and he finds Ellie and they find out The Secret which is that the Animal Plague ever happened, it was all a lie and there were rich people living on the other side of the Wall...and that they were training the normal children that didn't have special abilities to be sent over the Wall and go to war with the people on the other side for the land, and the kids with the special powers would be like the special weapons. But before that, Mika and Ellie are assigned a special mission by Mal Gorman to go over the wall and scope out the place and retrieve a special medicine that will allow him to live forever, which leads into the second book The Whisper.

The part of the book that I found to be most interesting is around page 400 where all the had gotten a surprise text that their children had all been taken so they can fight in the war. And it is very interesting because the government manipulated more than 270 million people by giving the children Fit Mix and Fit Camp so they could fight well in the war and the children playing Pod Fighter so they can learn the controls of the actual ship when it was time for battle and then covering it up by turning it into competitions and giving the winning families money, cars, and houses in the Golden Turrets (The upper class area above the Shadows) then kidnapping millions of kids without the parents noticing until it was too late. It's also shocking how it was only the children living in the Shadows that were taken. The kids in the Golden Turrets were exempt from the whole process. This goes to show how dystopian this society is, the government preys on the poor people to do the dirty work.

I liked the book The Roar very much. The storyline was very intricate and captivating and even if it’s a fiction book, older souls can read it and make a text to world connection to how easily governments can manipulate impoverished families by offering what those poverty-stricken people don’t have which is money and manipulating children with games and competitions. I also like this book because it takes you on a futuristic realistic fiction adventure that has a plot that goes deeper and deeper as you read. This book is very appealing because it is told in 3rd person limited which allows me to have a look into what's going on in the main characters head and get a more thorough understanding about how the characters perceive the world around them.