Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Barbara Fitzpatrick

Second Advisor

Leslie White

Third Advisor

Robert Shenk


Jane Austen’s novels remain an essential component of the literary canon, but her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, is frequently neglected. However, in Sense and Sensibility is the genesis of Austen’s technique through which her major characters cultivate and reveal a strong inner life, demonstrated through the character of Elinor Dashwood. This technique is a characteristic she incorporates in each of her succeeding novels. Her approach to literature centers on the interiority of her characters and their ability to change, but it her first novel Austen takes a unique approach. Following the structure of an eighteenth-century sermon, Austen creates a sermon for lay people that centers on the cultivation of a strong interior life.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.