Austen was a recondite writer with a new inside perspective with an outside view on life in the early 19th century. Born on December 16, 1775, Austen was a curious child given the unseal luxury of an education. Her father was a part of the gentry class and raised a family of ten, but was not well off by any means (Grochowski). Sense and Sensibility, written by Jane Austen, tells a dramatic story of three sisters and their emotional journey where they encounter love and betrayal. Because Jane Austen was raised in a liberal family and received a comprehensive education, her dramatic analysis of societal behavior in Sense and Sensibility was comparable to the hidden truths of social and class distinctions in 18th and 19th century Europe.
Austen was raised in an unusually liberal family where her father was a part of the middle-landowning class. They had a moderate amount of luxuries, but were not considered well off. Unlike many girls of her time Austen received a fairly comprehensive education. She received this mainly through the undivided support of her family. Austen and her sisters, like most girls of their time, were homeschooled. Austen’s zealous parents encouraged the girls to play piano, read and write. Her parent’s encouragement led to her interest in writing. Austen’s father housed an extensive library filled with books which kept Austen occupied for years (“Sense and Sensibility” 119). Through her observant nature and passion to read and write, Austen was able to eloquently write of the many “hidden truths” of social and class distinction during her time. They included daily societal changes some of which foreshadowed future societal leniency. Familial support also extended societal norm of marriage. Her parents attempted to bring many suitors home, but Austen never entered a serious relationship. Austen wrote of and embodied an early representation of the modern woman.
In Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s own family life can be reflected through the three Dashwood sisters, Elinor, Marriane, and Margaret, and their relationship with their mother, Mrs. Dashwood. This supportive relationship can be compared to that of Austen and her father. The Dashwood sisters were given freedoms of expression similar to those given to Austen. Both the Dashwood sisters and Jane Austen became independent and intelligent women. In Sense and Sensibility, the Dashwood sisters were compared to the Steele sisters who were characterized as uneducated or unrefined.
Lucy was naturally clever; her remarks were often just and amusing; and as a companion for half an hour Elinor frequently found her agreeable; but her powers had received no aid from education: she was ignorant and illiterate; and her deficiency of all mental improvement, her want of information in the most common particulars, could not be concealed from Miss Dashwood, in spite of her constant endeavour to appear to advantage. (Austen 90)
The Dashwood sisters also strove to be independent in the...