Sense And Sensibility Opening Scene Analysis

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AINSLEY STOLLAR
ENGL 390
ESSAY #1 1250-1750 words

The Physical House Versus the Symbolic Enclosure
Analyzing Structure in the Film Sense and Sensibility

The film Sense and Sensibility (dir. Ang Lee) gives the audience a visual representation of one of the most well-known Jane Austen novels by producing delicate scenes hidden with mountains of symbolism and major themes straight from the pages of the book. While character representation is crucial for any film adaptation, I chose to focus camera tricks, colors in the film, and dialogue relate to a larger theme of a women’s constraints in the physical house and the symbolic enclosure. Early nineteenth century culture was ripe with both physical and psychological stereotypes thrust upon the female gender, creating a very rigid
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This still shot is prefaced by a scene that creates a contrast to the one I chose to analyze. Before Marianne walks into her new physical house for the first time, we see her walking through the tall green grasses of the outside world, while being ushered by the Dashwood’s’ new landlords, Sir John and Mrs. Jennings, almost as if the two are symbolically entrapping the women in their new

physical house and their figurative constraints of the symbolic enclosure. (Figures 2 and 3) The contrast between the two still shots is incredibly important if we assign the inside world and the outside world different genders. For the sake of my argument, the society within the home will be given the female gender, while the society outside the home is male in consideration to which gender is dominant within each society. While looking at the scene inserted above (figure 1), there are a few key things that stand out to the

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