Friday, April 24, 2009
Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility is another Austen classic I picked up at Borders for $1.74. This is the story of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. (There's a third sister, but she's rarely mentioned).
Elinor, the eldest, is all Sense. She's smart, she's polite and she knows when to be quiet. There are specific, strict rules of etiquette back then, and a woman must know these rules and know her place.
Marianne, on the other hand, is impulsive, rash, honest to the point of embarrassment and socially, does not follow the rules.
These sisters and their mother are basically kicked out of their home, although very very politely, very very meanly, by their half-brother's wife. See, the Misses Dashwood's father passed away recently. Mr. Dashwood was married once and had a son. Then he remarried and had his 3 daughters. Upon his death, his entire estate reverted to his son, leaving Mrs. Dashwood and the 3 daughters to rely on the goodness of their half-brother's heart. This would have been ok, had he not been married to the vain, money-hungry disgusting (in my opinion) Fanny Dashwood, who quite quickly convinces her husband that these women really need to be elsewhere. Spineless fool. Needless to say, I was NOT a fan of that couple and really saddened over how very little rights women had at all back then. Oh, I get all romantic about that era, but I understand and know how terrible it really was for a woman with no father or money to take care of her.
The story deals with their lives. Elinor's quiet sufferings, her love for a man she knows she can never have, due to their stations in life. Marianne and her loud feelings for John Willoughby while Colonel Brandon politely and quietly suffers in silence. It deals with all the quirky people they meet, the webs Marianne stupidly weaves for herself, and trying to get out of the mess in one piece.
I loved it. I love Ms. Austen's writing. I already saw the movie before I ever read the book, but the movie is back on my Netflix queue.