Friday, March 20, 2009

My thoughts on Sense & Sensibility

"My favorites were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I'd read the first most recently, so I started into Sense and Sensibility, only to remember after I began chapter three than the hero of the story happened to be named Edward."
-Twilight, p. 148

Well, let me start off by saying I must disagree with Bella. I didn't find the hero of the story to be Edward at all! In my eyes, the hero of this story is Colonel Brandon! He not only took care of the daughter of the woman he loved at the expense of his reputation and marriage prospects, he immediately jumped into action when Marianne fell ill, despite the fact that he knew she did not hold any affection for him. He offered Edward a living when he found out that Edward had given up all claims to his family's money so that he could honor his promise to marry Lucy. He also took care of his "daughter" when Willoughby got her pregnant and left her. He was kind to Elinor and her family, and honorable to everyone he met, even those he knew were talking about him behind his back.

I had a hard time seeing Edward as a hero in the story, or even as a main character. He was in a chapter or two at the beginning, and all of a sudden, Elinor was in love with him. Then he was back towards the middle, but was revealed to be engaged to Lucy. Then he comes sweeping in at the end, and they get married. It was puzzling to say the least! :)

Willoughby gets my vote for the most exciting entrance as a character! I can see him carrying Marianne into her house, coat billowing behind him.... wow! Of course, he reveals himself to be a selfish scoundrel in the end, but his beginning was exciting! :)

I enjoyed the relationship between the sisters in this book as much as Pride and Prejudice, however, I think the characters of Marianne and Elinor were more true to life than Jane and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice (or perhaps I've just never had the pleasure of knowing anyone as good and kind as Jane!). Marianne and Elinor each had their faults, but they seemed to grow quite a bit by the end of the story, especially Marianne. Granted, Marianne was only 16 in this story, and 16 year olds can have a tendency to think they have all the answers (speaking of course from my own experience as a 16 year old! LOL). Only time and experience bring the maturity to change that!

In the end, I was very happy to know that Marianne and Colonel Brandon ended up together! He was my favorite character! I'm glad Elinor is happy with Edward, though I would have liked to see more interaction between them. I just didn't feel anything for their relationship.

And I was proud of myself because this book was much easier for me to read! I think it's a great example of how the more you read classic literature, the better you get at it! So even though it's hard at first, we all need to persevere! We can do it!


Lisa said...

I agree with you about Colonel Brandon and Edward. Col. Brandon is very honorable. Did you find it odd that he was SO MUCH older than Marianne? I didn't personally, but several of my RR book club members had issues with that. I think the Edward-Elinor match was cobbled together and not nearly romantic enough for my tastes. I didn't think Marianne deserved Brandon though, and he should have taken Elinor instead. :-)

I have lots more thoughts, but my mind is tired!

Niffercoo said...

I truly thought that's where it was headed... Elinor and Colonel Brandon, especially when we learn that Lucy has married "Mr. Ferrars".

The age difference didn't really bother me. I think back in those days, it was quite common for a younger woman to marry an older man. And it's not like he was "OLD" (since he was younger than you and me!). And if I remember correctly, they didn't marry right away... she was more like 17 or 18? ;)

Lisa said...

I knew the ending before I read it. At least I knew who ended up with who - from watching my "Raining Men" video. lol

You're right, though, that age difference was quite common at that time.