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Themes

Love is a many splendoured thing, sure, but it's also a many troubled thing, if you ask Austen. In Sense and Sensibility, she shows us dramatically different facets of this crazy little thing we call love, from the euphoric to the life-threatening. While love is certainly the driving force of the various plots we see in this novel, it's not always a good thing – in fact, more often than not, there's an edge of danger or tragic potential in it. Love, asserts this book, is wonderful and beautiful and all, but there's always a chance that it'll creep up behind you and stab you in the back.

Questions About Love

  1. What different kinds of love do we see in Sense and Sensibility?
  2. What aspects contribute to the love relationships we see here?
  3. In your opinion, do you think the characters view love differently than modern readers do?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Love" in Sense and Sensibility is a largely undefined quantity, and is viewed by the novel's narrator as uncertain or inexplicable.

The concept of love in Austen's novel is one that necessarily goes hand in hand with suffering; no love relationship in the book can exist without an edge of discomfort.

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