"A Model Of Excellence": The Evolution Of Sensibility In The Novels Of Jane Austen

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nicholas Griekspoor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
William Brewer

Abstract: This project concerns the development of Jane Austen’s criticism of the quality of sensibility, with a focus on her implied stance pertaining to its place and validity within social and personal behavior. By investigating and comparing Lady Susan, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion, it seeks to identify the nature and manner of this change in authorial judgment from a wide variety of points in her literary career. Much attention is given to each novel’s implied moral standard, which this paper terms “models of excellence.” The ever changing, “ideal” balance of such distinct qualities as sense, sentiment, and sensibility – all of which are discussed here at length – lead to a mature, socially valid reconfiguration of the heroine of sensibility. Main research questions include:* What is sensibility, and what is it not? How is it distinct from sense or sentiment?* What are the historical and social contexts of such qualities?* How does Austen’s early fiction convey her judgment of sensibility? How do later novels alter this judgment?* What constitutes an ideal character in Austen’s fiction?* How are sensibility and the ideal character reconfigured in Austen’s Persuasion?

Additional Information

Honors Project
Griekspoor, N. (2018). "A Model Of Excellence": The Evolution Of Sensibility In The Novels Of Jane Austen. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Sensibility, Behavior, Jane Austen, Social Criticism, Authorial Judgement

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