A comparison of Emma Woodhouse and Marianne Dashwood

Essay by ChristineSHigh School, 12th grade January 2005

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Emma Woodhouse vs. Marianne Dashwood

Two of my favorite characters in the novels written by Jane Austin are Emma Woodhouse, from Emma, and Marianne Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility. They are both lively girls with big hearts and romantic imaginations that tend to get them into trouble. This makes for twisting plots and lots of drama - both of which add interest to the novels and help shape their characters.

Marianne and Emma existed in two very different environments. Marianne had two sisters, her mother, and a half brother, while Emma had her father and an older sister. The Woodhouse family was at the top of the social ladder. They enjoyed a large estate with many tenant farmers. The Dashwoods, upon the death of Mr. Dashwood, went from the middle gentry class in a moderate estate to being nearly impoverished and residents of a small cottage.

Marianne Dashwood and Emma Woodhouse were both young girls who's heads are filled with romantic ideals.

Marianne was a huge fan of romantic literature and had taken from them ideals of what love should be like. Emma loved to play matchmaker for everyone, save herself. Her matches, however, always ended up going awry. In the end her interventions caused no harm and everyone ended up happily wed. Marianne and Emma both allowed their vanities to be flattered and fell in "love" with men who only used them to cover up a ploy. Marianne ended up devastated and broken, while Emma remained uninjured. Emma had a strong sense of her social class, but Marianne was still adjusting to hers. Both Emma and Marianne were kindhearted girls and didn't purposely injure other.

The object of Marianne's "love" was Mr. Willoughby. He was a bold horseman who saved Marianne when she fell down a hill...