Sense and Sensibility (Wordsworth Classics)
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Duty and desire
This is an excellent pocket sized edition of Jane Austen's first novel. The type is clear and a reasonable size and the book is nicely produced with an interesting introduction.
Elinor and Marianne are good examples of how two sisters can be completely different in character and temperament. Elinor is the sensible cautious sister and Marianne the romantic and sensitive one who delights in wild landscapes and feeling heartbroken or elated. I always love the way both sisters deal with adversity. Elinor seeks to keep her feelings to herself and to find occupations to take her mind of what has happened; Marianne wallows in disappointment and doesn't try to overcome her feelings. There are parallels to be drawn here with modern society which encourages people to let their feelings all `hang out' and with say the 1950s where there was more emphasis on duty, putting others first and dealing with your own disappointments.
As ever Jane Austen's dialogue and...
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Description : Sense and SensibilityThough not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published. Though she initially called it Elinor and Marianne, Austen jettisoned both the title and the epistolary mode in which it was originally written, but kept the essential theme: the necessity of finding a workable middle ground between passion and reason. The story revolves around the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Whereas the former is a sensible, rational creature, her younger sister is wildly romantic--a characteristic that offers Austen plenty of scope for both satire and compassion. Commenting on Edward Ferrars, a potential suitor for Elinor's hand, Marianne admits that while she "loves him tenderly", she finds him disappointing as a possible lover for her sister:
Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!Soon, however, Marianne meets a man who measures up to her ideal: Mr Willoughby, a new neighbour. So swept away by passion is Marianne that her behaviour begins to border on the scandalous. Then Willoughby abandons her; meanwhile, Elinor's growing affection for Edward suffers a check when he admits he is secretly engaged to a childhood sweetheart. misfortunes and the lessons they draw before coming finally to the requisite happy ending forms the heart of the novel. Though Marianne's disregard for social conventions and willingness to consider the world well-lost for love may appeal to modern readers, it is Elinor whom Austen herself most evidently admired; a truly happy marriage, she shows us, exists only where sense and sensibility meet and mix in proper measure. --Alix Wilber, Amazon.com