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Sense And Sensibility: Compare And Contrast Elinor And Marianne Dashwood

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In the film Sense and Sensibility directed by Ang Lee the characters of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood represent the sense and the sensibility respectively. It is portrayed through the film that Elinor and her younger sister are very contrasting characters who also share a very close bond. This is with regard to how they act, what they believe value, and the lessons they learn during the film.

It is shown through the film that Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are contrasting characters. It is not only by their actions and words that I saw they were different. Although they both have curly hair, Elinor's is in tight neat curls, a straight blonde colour. This reflects her not being loose and letting her emotions go. Marianne's hair is flowing and free, in curls that hang by her face. Likewise this symbolises her openness and constant display of feeling. They are introduced into the film doing something that reflects their personality; Elinor is organising the household and Marianne playing the piano and singing without restraint. Elinor is usually seen wearing an apron, so it is portrayed that she is practical and in control. I also understood that Marianne saying "I have always preferred wild flowers" was another clever example of how she is the more passionate sister.

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters who although share a very close bond have personalities that are completely different. Elinor is a very practical character, who always takes on all the motherly and useful roles at the beginning of the film. It is obvious that she is the calm sister and the one in control when the Dashwoods have just found out that they are to lose their home. She is the one who informs the servants of what is happening, persuades Margaret, the youngest sister to come down from the tree house, and tells Marianne to play something happier for their mother's sake when they were in the situation of losing their home. "Can you play something else? Mama has been weeping since breakfast." Even from the 'mournful' music played on the piano I saw how Marianne is a character that could be described as 'wild' and 'on fire'. She never fails to express her feelings freely and is a great contrast to her sister. Marianne doesn't think about how others will react to her actions; she does not think before she acts. I saw this when she stormed around the house in anger at Fanny's presence, wildly rode through the streets with Willoughby causing people to think they were engaged, and says "to love is to burn, to be on fire."

Both of the sisters have different beliefs and values which accompany their contrasting personalities. Elinor is always the one keeping things together and in turn does not stop to worry about her own affairs. She sees order as being very important. For Elinor it's "always prudence and honour and duty." As the film developed I saw how containing all her feelings were taking a toll on her, as she values honour and promises very highly. This was evident when she loyally did not tell Marianne about Edward's secret engagement to Lucy, even though it was such a burden to her. This showed how highly she held and honoured promises. Elinor believes in following her head, rather than her heart, which is what Marianne does. Marianne believes in acting on the spur of the moment, and doing what her heart leads her to do, without thinking about the consequences. Feelings come first to her, not sense. An example of this is when Marianne decided to go for a walk, even though she knew it might rain she walked because she felt like it. Another example of her not holding back was her obvious delight at meeting Willoughby. "What an impressive stranger." For someone to show interest in a stranger so openly was uncommon during the time period that the film is set in.

Both Elinor and Marianne learn important lessons from each other in the film, and these lessons are the contrary of each other. Elinor learns in the film that it is alright to express your heart, and that holding back all the time will mean no steps forward. She



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