July 19, 2008

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Two sisters of opposing temperaments but who share the pangs of tragic love provide the subjects for Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, practical and conventional, is the epitome of sense; Marianne, emotional and sentimental, the embodiment of sensibility. To each comes the sorrow of unhappy love: Elinor desires a man who is promised to another while Marianne loses her heart to a scoundrel who jilts her. Their mutual suffering brings a closer understanding between the two sisters — and true love finally triumphs when sense gives way to sensibility and sensibility gives way to sense. (from Barnes and Noble)

I don't know how I managed to miss Jane Austen while I was in college but I did. I was just too busy discovering my love for Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, and Louise Erdrich. And, of course, modern contemporary poetry. Let's not forget that. But recently, I took a cute little quiz that informed me I was most like Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. So I decided that I would see what all the fuss is about Jane Austen.

Overall, I liked it. It was her first novel to be published and generally not considered to be her best, but I really enjoyed it. I was a little worried when, in the first paragraph, I read "The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from goodness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence." That's only one sentence. One. And there are many, many more like it in this book. It took me awhile for my brain to get used to the 1800's style of language. But I'm not complaining. It was a pleasure to read--even if I had to read some sentences twice!


Merrie said...

That's what it's like reading Emma. A lot of reading and re-reading. And I'm an excellent reader! Thanks for the tip on this one -- I haven't read it yet, but hope to at some point. Still need to read "Pride and Prejiduce," which is sitting on my bookshelf awaiting my attention.

ali said...

Merrie--I'm thinking I'll tackle Pride and Prejudice sometime next year. I almost wonder if seeing the movie first would help me get through the book a little faster!

kel said...

This is my fave Jane Austen! I agree there are many times when you have to read and reread, but its worth it.

besides.. you can always rent the movies!! (I can't believe i said that. That's the worst thing a book-lover can say! But the male characters are always hot!)

Different Dog said...

While I was pregnant last summer I reread all of Jane Austen's works. They are so wonderful and witty! I'm glad people are still enjoying these novels. Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion will always be my favorites!