Is the narrator omniscient in Sense and Sensibility?

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The narrator of this text is of the third person omniscient variety. This means that the narrator is not a participant in the events that take place in the story (this is the "third person" part), but he or she can tell us the thoughts and feelings of all the characters (this is the "omniscient" part). In the first paragraph of chapter 1, for example, the narrator speaks of the "old Gentleman," Mr. Henry Dashwood's, feelings and wishes regarding his family, his comfort, and his old age. Shortly thereafter, Mr. John Dashwood's feelings and character are described, as are those of his wife. Likewise, the narrator soon comes to discuss Elinor Dashwood's personality and disposition, her emotions and her character, as well as her younger sister's Marianne's. This goes on, so on and so forth, and, in short, the narrator is not a participant in the story's plot, but he or she can tell us how all of the characters think and feel.

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In writing, we can find two different types of third-person narratives: omniscient and limited. An omniscient narrator is all-knowing, meaning that they are able to share the thoughts and actions of any character within the book, as well as any other information that may be relevant. A limited narrator is exactly what it sounds like—limited. They do not know what is going on in the mind of every character and are only able to reveal the thoughts of one or two characters.

The narrator of Jane Austen's classic novel Sense and Sensibility falls under the category of third-person omniscient. While a good deal of the focus is on main character Elinor's perspective, the narrator allows the reader to see pieces of the story from the perspective of several different characters. This helps to develop the world of Sense and Sensibility, making it more complex and whole.

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