“It was easier to know it than to explain why I know it. If you were asked to prove that two and two made four, you might find some difficulty, and yet you are quite sure of the fact. Even across the street I could see a great, blue anchor tattooed on the back of the fellow’s hand. That smacked of the sea. He had a military carriage, however, and regulation side-whiskers. There we have the marine. He was a man with some amount of self-importance and a certain air of command. You must have observed the way in which he held his head and swung his cane. A steady, respectable, middle-aged man, too, on the face of him — all facts which led me to believe that he had been a sergeant.”
Human nature undeniable has many facets is undeniable. Whether or not some character traits are superior to others, however, is debatable. One such deliberation is whether sense invariably triumphs over sensibility. Through her characters Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey” and Marianne Dashwood in “Sense and Sensibility,” Jane Austen boldly attempts, and succeeds, in answering this question. Each heroine faces the extraordinary challenge of leaving their childhood worlds of fantasy behind to develop as a rational adult and find “sensibility.” Austen also designs characters that are purer paradigms of reason and rationality, exposing innate flaws in either inclination through opposing characters. The resulting friction demonstrates that sense and sensibility do not necessarily surpass each other. Rather, their real value comes from their mutual role in maturation. Thus, neither trait is considerably useful unless influenced by its counterpart.