Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Daniel Gustafson

Second Advisor

Keith Gandal

Third Advisor

Andras Kisery


Masculinity, Sentmentalism, Politicization


Examining the love triangle between Marianne Dashwood, Colonel Brandon, and John Willoughby provides new insight into how Austen decided to politicize the notion of the novel to demonstrate the inherent flaw in how sentimental novels to depicted romances bared a threat to women. I work against the conventional opposition of "good" versions of masculinity versus "poor" versions to posit a notion that instead, most masculinities are unstable and a detriment to the fairer sex. In this essay, I will argue that Sense and Sensibility disclose Austen's anxieties regarding sentimentalism because, from this perspective, Marianne Dashwood's character arc illustrates the author's unhappiness with the growing sway of sentimental beliefs on impressionable young women. This thoroughgoing re-evaluation of the love triangle challenges the standard readings of Sense and Sensibility.



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