Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper interprets Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1811) in the context of the literary and social debate about "sense" and "sensibility" in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century when the concept of sense was viewed with a suspicious eye as it might lead sensible persons to machination and manipulation; and, sensibility with a disapproving one as such it had been throughout the tradition of the anti-sentimental novel. This paper thus aims to argue that the portrayal of a female antagonist Lucy Steele who unites assumed sensibility and prudent, selfserving sense to achieve her ambitious aims shows that the novel was responsive to the belief promoted by the antisentimental works that sensibility could be feigned and used to dupe others and at the time rejected the idea that (too much) sense is a desirable quality.

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