Week 15 is… quite a while ago and thus it’s also quite a while since I read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. This is not really a review of it, since I don’t feel entitled to review great classics like this. So here guys: have a ramble on Jane Austen’s awesomeness.
Title: Sense and Sensibility
By: Jane Austen
Published by Collector’s Library
First published 1811
Sense and Sensibility, the first of Jane Austen’s major novels, is a portrait of two very different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Elinor is practical and disciplined, Marianne Capricious and emotional, yet they share a troubled and impoverished family background, and both must struggle to achieve the happiness they deserve. Ranged against them are the forces of a society where men and masculinity predominate; Elinor and Marianne have to balance their emotional needs against the harsh financial realities of the world at large. Sense and Sensibility is a chronicle of romantic misfortunes, narrated with irony and a sharp eye for hypocrisy. A powerful drama of family life and growing up, the novel is at once a subtle comedy of manners and a striking critique of early-ninteenth-century society.
Rating on Goodreads: (really liked it)
If I had to describe Jane Austen shortly as I see her, I’d call her an ideal writer. One of my favourite things in a story is a great cast of characters and Austen’s are always unforgettable. Who could ever forget Mr. Collins or Miss Bates or Lydia Bennet? All characters are well-defined and well-rounded. You can hear their voices as clearly as if they were in the room with you.
It’s no wonder that Jane Austen is a classic. Repeatedly, married women with children completely fail to establish romances that are as convincing as Austen’s – and she remained unmarried and a virgin her entire life. No, I’m not talking about Stephenie Meyer, why would you even think that would be the case?
Jokes at Meyer’s expense aside, there is a tendency to misinterpret Austen’s meaning what with Twilight claiming to be (at least partially) based on Pride and Prejudice. It cannot be stressed enough that Austen would not approve of most of Young Adult paranormal romance literature these days – I am certain she would not. What little I’ve read of it, I know there’s a tendency to admire passion over close friendship and equality in character. I’m not just talking about Twilight, but a book such as Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, which is all about this insane passion that even goes against all reason.
This takes me back to the book at hand, Sense and Sensibility, and wouldn’t you know it – it’s right there in the friggin’ title. It’s in the book’s plot. Be warned: there will be spoilers in a bit.
As is probably known to all, this is a story of two sisters: Elinor is sensible and calm, while Marianne is romantic and emotional. Elinor suffers the loss of a lover while in the end, Marianne almost puts her own life at risk. Guess who’s the more sensible of the two? Yeah, you guessed it. Austen knew it’s not reasonable to put your life at stake over a man. She knew life will go on regardless of a broken heart. She knew what nobody seems to know these days. Ironically, Austen’s books are a better life lesson for girls, and they were written at a time when women weren’t allowed to get an education or to vote and they were thought inferior to men. Take away the whole ‘you need to marry or you’re nothing’ and the message at it’s core is: Life goes one. It’s never worth throwing your life away for some man. Even if Elinor hadn’t gotten her man in the end, she have, in time, have gotten over it.
That’s not unromantic or anything – it’s healthy.
Guys, stop reading Hush, Hush, and Twilight and other such books and go for Jane Austen. Fill in a message that fits our time period better and you have not only a most entertaining read with a cast of great characters, sizzling wit, biting irony and a good story – you also have a message that makes most young adult literature look like soft core porn with a plot deficiency.