April 28, 2011

Thoughts on Sense and Sensibility

Posted in Book Reviews, Jane Austen at 8:58 pm by catsinboxes

Background:  This post was written last Thanksgiving, but I never got around to posting it.  If you don’t like Jane Austen, you might as well stop reading right now.  This is definitely a post for Jane Austen enthusiasts!  

I just finished Sense and Sensibility.  Let it be said right now: I love Sense and Sensibility.  I love all of Jane Austen works, some in lesser degrees than others, but I especially love Sense and Sensibility.  Let me tell you why . . .

1.  Elinor Dashwood is my favorite Jane Austen character.  She has so much character, yet enough good sense to temper her feelings.

2.  Marianne is so . . . so . . . Marianne Dashwood.  She’s romantically inclined to say the least, and I love Jane Austen’s wry observations on her behavior.

3.  Edward Ferrars is tops.  He is such a nice character, that we can quite forgive him for becoming entagled with Lucy Steele.  Speaking of . . .

4.  Lucy Steele is the nastiest, most conniving creature of Jane Austen’s creations.  At least, that’s how I feel at the moment.  She is certainly the most developed, and oh how I detest the social-climbing, scheming, insincere lady.  Speaking of detestable creatures . . .

5.  Robert Ferrars, his mother, Fanny, and her husband John Dashwood all fit nicely into this category.  Lady Middleton is certainly insipid, so I can almost put her here.  I don’t think she would object since I am classing her with other “people of class.”

6.  Willougby, oh Willoughby!  Why can’t you look as charming as you really and truly were in the book?  You are such a cad, such a narcissist, such an egotistical self-centered wretch!  I can find a little bit of my heart to feel sympathy, but I will harden it again when I think of poor Eliza.  I will always think of you as a villain . . .


7.  Every time I read (or listen) to Sense and Sensibility, I am struck with how my feelings toward Mrs. Jennings and Sir John change.   At the beginning of the novel, they are so vulgar, so boisterously intolerable (these pictures disappointingly cannot do them justice in that respect), but by the end of the story one can appreciate that each possess a truly good heart.  And while I’m thinking of good hearts:

8.  Colonel Brandon does not change throughout the book, but he is so good.  Such a quiet, steadfast, suffering man.  I still prefer Edward . . . but I especially like Colonel Brandon’s friendship with Eleanor.  And he gets his girl in the end, even though he does insist upon wearing flannel!

9.  I’m afraid to leave Margaret and Mrs. Dashwood out . . . I like both of them.  Compared to Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Dashwood is a wonderful mother.  Margaret is not mentioned in the book, except for giving Mrs. Jennings and Sir John ammunition towards Eleanor, but she’s such a sweet character in the movies, that I’ll be kind and include her:

(I love this scene: enough to charm any big sister’s heart!  ~For those unfamiliar with the movie, Edward is giving Margaret a ride on his gorgeous black horse.)

I could easily think of a 10th thought concerning Sense and Sensibility, but I’ll conclude for now and go back to Thanksgiving preparations.  I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice now . . .  thoughts on that will be an upcoming post.

*All pictures are from Masterpiece Theater’s 2008 production of Sense and Sensibility.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Dashwood —Definitely number one! […]

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