Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sense and Sensibility

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as portrayed in the 2008 BBC filming of Sense and Sensibility.

Have I ever showed you my Jane Austen set?

My previous next-door neighbor was selling these at a garage sale. Such a cute, hardback, coordinating set just couldn't be passed up. He wouldn't even let me pay for them.

I recently finished reading Sense and Sensibility. After seeing the new BBC film edition, I wanted to read it for myself as it was one of the few that I had not (now just Emma left).

I do recommend the film. It has a few flaws, in particular, the opening scene, but the rest is a very good representation of the book. However, just like any other movie that is based on a book, the book is superior. I highly recommend the book.

I wanted to share a few thoughts on what I like and appreciate about Jane Austen's writing and a favorite quote in demonstration.

One thing among many, that I love about Jane Austen's writing, is that she addresses moral topics. The reader, though reading a work of fiction, can actually be instructed by the lives of the characters. In Sense and Sensibility, two sisters both struggle through disappointment in love, but one sister learns from the other's conduct. I, myself, felt highly instructed by the conduct of the temperate sister, Elinor. When Elinor is finally able to reveal to her sister what she has known for 4 months, that the man she loves is already engaged to another young lady from several years previous and is too much of a gentleman to not uphold the engagement, her sister is naturally quite shocked. Having gone through the agony of losing the man that she loved herself, she is utterly shocked to find that her sister has suffered the same kind of loss without ever betraying her feelings in any way.

"'Four months!' cried Marianne again. 'So calm! so cheerful! How have you been supported?'
'By feeling that I was doing my duty. My promise to Lucy obliged me to be secret. I owed it to her, therefore, to avoid giving any hint of the truth; and I owed it to my family and friends not to create in them a solicitude about me, which it could not be in my power to satisfy.'"

The fortitude that Elinor displays in her trial changes her sister forever. I LOVED this! Marvelous that the sister learns from her own sister and is materially changed and improved by her example.

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