After the utter failure that was The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I needed something to read I knew would be good. So, I resorted to another classic – Jane Austen‘s Sense and Sensibility.
For those who don’t know, Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne. The main focus is on Elinor, the older one. She’s rational, composed, intelligent and feels responsible for everything/one. Marianne seems to be her exact opposite – passionate, outspoken, spontaneous. Both fall in love, Elinor with Edward Ferrars and Marianne with John Willoughby. Of course, that isn’t the end of the story yet.
S&S is my favourite Austen story so far, although I don’t think that will change with her other books. The reason: I identify myself with Elinor A LOT. Like in an unhealthy amount. I watched the movie and I read the book and basically anything she said made me go, “that’s exactly how I see myself! it’s exactly what I’d do, were I a 19th century girl!” [Though I do think that I'm a little less judgmental.] Subsequently, I love Edward Ferrars. He’s so cute and sweet and principled and just tries to do everything right, no matter the cost.
I also really like Marianne. Oh, and Colonel Brandon is my #3 favourite Austen man*, you just gotta love him. I have to admit, the way Marianne get’s married to him irked me a bit. I mean, I love CB, but it’s clear that Marianne does not, at first. And then this quote:
Mrs. Dashwood was acting on motives of policy as well as pleasure in the frequency of her visits at Delaford; for her wish of bringing Marianne and Colonel Brandon together was hardly less earnest, though rather more liberal than what John had expressed. It was now her darling object. Precious as was the company of her daughter to her, she desired nothing so much as to give up its constant enjoyment to her valued friend; and to see Marianne settled at the mansion-house was equally the wish of Edward and Elinor. They each felt his sorrows, and their own obligations, and Marianne, by general consent, was to be the reward of all.
With such a confederacy against her—with a knowledge so intimate of his goodness—with a conviction of his fond attachment to herself, which at last, though long after it was observable to everybody else—burst on her—what could she do?
I mean, Austen does point out that she later comes to love him, but still, basically she’s the payment for Brandon being so nice to help out her sister’s love. And that hurts.
And in the movie it’s not like that. It’s a bit more melodramatic, yes, but melodramatic is what Marianne needs to fall in love. And in the movie, she does.
Another difference between book and movie: Maybe I’m a little good-hearted, if not to say naive, but Lucy Steele in the movie was annoying and a little dumb, but she was not that calculating, was she?
Anyway – if you can’t tell – I just love this book.
- Edward Ferrars
- George Knightley
- Colonel Brandon
- a cross between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley