Elinor Dashwood Character Analysis

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Novelist Jane Austen filled her writings with diverse heroines who contribute to the quality of the story. This paper serves to compare and contrast two of Austen’s heroines. The central character of 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility, Elinor Dashwood, showcases fortitude in the face of her father’s passing and eviction from her own home. Written in 1813, Pride and Prejudice features decidedly audacious Elizabeth Bennet, who expresses her beliefs unabashedly. Austen wrote these characters with certain similarities while still making them unique. Elinor Dashwood remains selfless and reliable, whereas Elizabeth Bennet touts tenacity and intensity, but nevertheless, they exhibit comparable devotion to their families.
In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor Dashwood exemplifies selflessness and reliability. She lends strength to her two sisters and mother after the passing of their respective father and husband. Dashwood plays the role of “the comforter of others in her own distress, no less than
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Each grew up in a family of only daughters, both among the eldest, and much of their tales revolve around their relationship with their sisters. Selflessly, both women harbor a secret from their sisters even when it brings agony to themselves. Sworn to secrecy, Elinor conceals her promise, characterized as, “. . . [being] stronger alone; and her own good sense so well supported her, that her firmness was so unshaken . . .” (Austen, Sense 95). Fearing that her secret may bring heartache, Elizabeth likewise restrains herself from divulging it. Furthermore, the pair of protagonists also serve as a source of comfort during their sisters’ heartache. Courageously, when their sisters fall ill, they both nurse them back to health, despite the consequence of possibly falling sick themselves. Although the two women differ immensely, the duo shares an immense sense adoration for their
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