View Full Version : Sense and Sensibility Discussion

10-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Hey, I'm just on the third chapter right now, and I am kind of enjoying it. Can anyone give me any hints as to what's going to happen without spoiling it? Just a paragraph summary or something....

10-15-2009, 03:12 AM
Yes, so you want a little hint without spoiling it...:goof: Easy you are!

Anyway, they are setting off to Barton now, I think. So, they will live there, they'll meet a few new people and Marianne will still fall in love with someone. There is also a trip to London. But everything will be alright in the end despite a lot of difficulty.

Is that what you wanted or is it more?

10-15-2009, 01:20 PM

1995 movie trailer?

The music irks me but there's more than just music there... there's value in Alan Rickman.

10-16-2009, 05:37 PM
Hey, well I'm on chapter XIII now. What's gonna happen with Marianne and Willoughby, and is Elinor going to fall in love with Colonel Brandon, and will Edward come back into the story? And will anyone else be introduced who will play an important part in the plot? And why is the story divided into 3 volumes? Thanks in advance.

10-17-2009, 05:27 AM
I recognise me in you, because I'd like to know if I'm unsettled... Finally, someone! :smash:

SPOILER ALERT (for the ones who do not want to know specific things)

Willoughby and Marianne, that's clear, isn't it, what is going to happen, but it will go all wrong. The outcome of what really happened to cause the shambles will be at the end. But something will happen in London.

Heroic, Willoughby, isn't he... :brow:

Elinor does not fall in love with Colonel Brandon, although she is believed to be by everyone.

Edward Ferrars will resurface but entangled in a difficult web that concludes happily at the end somewhere (in London, too).

Keep an eye out for Lucy. She's important.


What do you think of it so far. I found it the most tedious boo of Austn I have read, but I only did (in order) P&P, S&S, Persuasion and Emma. After P&P this was a little bit of a cold shower because it is much more serious although that old widow (mother-in-law of Middleton) is quite fun. Still, at the points where it picks up pace, it does satisfy, just not everywhere...

10-18-2009, 10:09 AM
Thanks kiki1982. That answered all my questions.
I've actually just finished the first volume now, and I am quite astonished by what I just found out with Lucy and Edward, as I really thought he was going somewhere with Elinor. Anyway, this is the first Jane Austen book I've read (and the first classic book I've read, too as a matter of fact because I've only just decided to take up reading classic literature), so I didn't know what to expect from it. I found the book and language really hard to understand during the first chapter, but then I kind of settled to it, and now I understand Austen's vocabulary fully and I am engrossed in the story, but now I can't wait to read pride and prejudice after what you said. I'd really like to know why Willoughby left - how far in the book do you get to find out? So do the characters go to London? And do the Palmers feature prominently in the story or are they background characters? And aside from Lucy, anyone else important in the plot? Thanks again, in advance.

10-18-2009, 10:33 AM
With Austen, it is a matter of clarification in the end. Everything that happens has a reason, of course, but the reasons, out of discretion, cannot be revealed until later.

Ferrars was going somewhere with Elinor, but it wl al become clear later what the problem is.

Willoughby left because of personal reasons. Later you will find out why..

The Palemrs are side-charactrs, but will remain there because they re close relatives of Mrs Jennings(?). Her daughter and son-in-law. Mr Palmer will infact be redeemed as good and kind man, despite his sulkiness.

P&P is more fun in my opinion. It is more ridiculous, S&S is more poetical and more subdued but therefore not bad. Just a little less entertaining.

But was Austen not a little difficult in vocab to start with? I would have take something more recent to start with, but then again, it is what one prefers.
If you like Austen, you migt also like Scott on the same note of language. He is more serious, but writes in the same kind of language (same time). The funniest I have read of Austen was P&P and Emma, after that Persuasion. I'd start with P&P, because that is shorter and Emma is a snobbish woman so you need to be into Austen to understand the real ridicule of it. But other than that, Emma is also really good. Northanger Abbey is also supposed to be good as she wrote it earleir in her like P&P.

10-18-2009, 10:57 AM
Thanks for that ;)
You said everything will be alright with Edward and Elinor, but how can that be if he is engaged to Lucy? And another thing has been a bee in my bonnet: at the back of the book on the blurb it says: "Elinor is ill-equipped to compete with self-centred fortune hunters like Lucy Steele." I don't get it. Lucy seems really nice at the end of volume one.
I'll post here again when I get further into the book.

10-18-2009, 12:18 PM
I don't know about self-centered. They have been engaged for long, remember that because that is the key.

Someting will obviously happen, then, won't it?

I don't know about Elinor being 'ill-equipped'... I don't know, she is reserved to all people else than Marian, and she thinks that she does not show enough feeling, but she does have it.

You'll see...

10-21-2009, 01:36 PM
Thanks once again. I am now on volume two, chapter 6-7 or something like that. I finally get what you meant about them going to London, so do they remain in town for the rest of the story? The whole Willoughby-saga is really interesting, I must say. This might be a random guess but from your hints: were Edward and Lucie actually in love but Edward has fallen out of love for her secretly (you said their long engagement is key) and fallen in love with Elinor (you said they were going somewhere)? Is that it? Or something like that?

10-21-2009, 02:30 PM
That is something like it, yes...

They will stay in London for most of the story, then move to the Pamers' estate where everything will come to a great climax.

I think there should still be something known about Colonel Brandon's past in London... And that is quite important. Ferrars wil also run into problems there.

On the Palmers' estate we will hear about what was behind Willoughby's escapades.

And then, everything will be alright.

10-21-2009, 02:44 PM
So the outcome at the end is as simple as:
-Marianne marries Willoughby
-Elinor marries Edward

By the way, the girl that Willoughby was with at the table when Marianne finally sees him again after his departure, does he cheat on her with her?

10-21-2009, 02:47 PM
Have you read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen?
If so, what did you think of it. I would like to discuss it here, because I want to see how many people deem it as a good book, as I am currently reading it (a bit into volume II) and am thoroughly engrossed with the things that are taking place in London. So, discuss it here!

10-21-2009, 03:05 PM
Nono, one of the pairs is wrong! I won' tell you which. That should be clear in... 5 chapters I think (probably even earlier).

I like this, it's fun!

10-21-2009, 04:44 PM
Yeah, it is fun! ;)
Hmmm... now I have to guess which pair is wrong...
Possible suitors for Marianne - Willoughby, Colonel Brandon
Possible suitors for Elinor - Edward, Colonel Brandon
That's all I can think of, so I'm guessing one of the pairs is ol' CB!
By the way, why is book split into three volumes, and how long ago did you read it?

10-22-2009, 03:30 AM
I can't remeber how long I read it for... I don't count the days/weeks. 2 weeks?

The book is usually not split in volumes, but maybe you are reading a very much older edition. In the 19th century they tended to split short books into volumes too.

Indeed, one of the pairs is CB, but I won't tell you which. :D

10-22-2009, 12:43 PM
Oooh, that makes it exciting. I'm reading the Oxford Classics edition.
I've just gone past the part where Marianne recieves the final letter from Willoughby, and I'm astounded that he was already engaged, because I was sure he reciprocated her love. Anyhow, how long til I found out who CB is gonna pair up with? And is Miss Grey the "young fashionable" woman that Willoughby was with when he was impolite to Marianne?

10-22-2009, 01:03 PM
Willoughby was not already engaged... But you'll find out on the Palmers' estate. Anyway, it is miss Grey who is the fashionable lady. Something about Willoughby will become clear in the near future. It also involves Colonel Brandon... That is what I can reveal without really spoiling it.

It should slowly become clear who is going to marry Marian... He had always admired Marian from a distance, and is still doing it.

Oops, forgot CB...

And who is Colonel Brandon going to go for? She is there all the while too... But they haven't noticed each other yet. Although they have, maybe, just not in that way...

10-22-2009, 03:48 PM
Oh, I'm guessing Marianne and Colonel Brandon then...
I can't wait to read more, which I will be doing in a little while.
How many hours a day do you read?
I don't get how Willoughby is not engaged, when in his letter he says he is.

mona amon
10-23-2009, 12:13 AM
He wasn't engaged to her when he was flirting with Marianne, but got engaged to her later. :)

10-23-2009, 04:32 AM
That's what it is, Mona Amon. I wanted to keep it quiet because it is the revelation in the end... But never mind, it's out now. Willoughby got engaged in London, before Marian arrived, I suppose. For the reason behind it you'll have to wait.


I don't know how long I read a day. Whenever I feel like it. So some books only take three days to a week because I'm so interested I can't put it down and some last ages because they are not very interesting and I have to remind myself to read. The Picture of Dorian Gray was one, although it was a re-read and I rarely re-read, so that could have been the problem (I know too well what happens so it is hardly interesting). It took a month and it is shorter than P&P. I am now having problems with Eliot's Mill on the Floss. Wutherig Heights went like a storm (what's in a name :D). Ivanhoe started off slowly (style takes getting used to), but moved then anyway. It depends. Persuasion is my record at three days.

Oh, yes, if you need some explanation (after you have read the whole thing because there are spoilers over there not signlaed) on the background of Austen's books and one work in particular (like marriages and dowries and that kind of thing), go to www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janewrit.html. They have a lot of inside info that is really interesting if you are into it.

mona amon
10-23-2009, 08:17 AM
Oh dear, I didn't realize I was making an important revelation! :D

It's a while since I read it, and I'm now re-reading, and about half way through. I remember so little it seems almost like I'm reading for the first time.

10-23-2009, 09:29 AM
Wow, I can't believe that happens. I can't wait to get to that part in the end. So did Willoughby know Miss Grey when he was flirting with Marianne? And by the way, do we ever find out why he left Barton Park? Just a yes or no will suffice, not another spoiler, or there'll be no point in me reading the book :D

10-23-2009, 09:35 AM
@Mona Amon:

No problem, the thing is, it's not really a spoiler becaue he is engaged now anyway... But, it does give a little bit away of what he's going totell later...


We will know why Willoughby left so suddenly. He did not know Miss Grey when he was courting Marianne, but that has to do with his leaving.

There is always a point in reading a book, even if you know what happens in the end. You don't knw how it happens, so actually, by knowing the fact, you don't have the feelings that are associated with it. (that is at least how I see it). More important is what is happening now to Marianne and Elinor inside... And that you do not know yet :)

10-23-2009, 10:07 AM
Haha, I like your subtle answers!
I didn't manage to read any of the book yesterday, but I am going to try and make up for that by spending my time wisely today.

10-25-2009, 05:31 AM
Okay, so I'm on page 180 or something, and Elinor and Lucy have just seen Mrs Ferrars, and there was an awkward moment between Edward, Lucy, Marianne, and Elinor when they were on their own. That's where I'm up to. Mrs Ferrars is a bizarre character!

10-25-2009, 05:49 AM
Yes, horribly conceited isn't she. So is her daughter (Mrs Dashwood).

And nice, isn't it, how the Dashwods do not invite Elinor and Marianne at first? I find that really...

Anyway, Mrs Ferrars is important.

10-25-2009, 01:51 PM
Yup, she is.
I've just finished the second volume now, and I didn't really get the ending. I don't understand if the Dashwoods have been invited to Charlotte's or not, because Mrs John Dashwood invited the Steeles instead....

10-25-2009, 01:57 PM
I don't think they did invite the Dashwoods out of contempt I think. They invited the Steeles because they were close to the Dashwoods, but not quite the Dashwoods. But that friendship will prove a mistake. I'll leave you to the great problems that are going to occur in the near future...

10-25-2009, 06:02 PM
I really didn't understand any of the above post, sorry.
Could you explain?

mona amon
10-26-2009, 12:33 AM
I didn't really understand either of your posts, Aamir and Kiki.

Elinor and Marrianne are still Mrs. Jennings' guests at the end of volume 2, though they spend the whole of every day with Lady Middleton after Charlotte has a baby, because Mrs. Jennings spends the whole day at Charlotte's.

John Dashwood feels he ought to invite his sisters Elinor and Marianne to be his guests, but his wife talks him out of it and invites the Misses Steele instead.

Wonder if this clears up anything? :D

10-26-2009, 03:44 AM
Well, You remember that John Dashwood was the son out of a first marriage of Mr Dashwood. Then, Mr Dashwood married again and got Elinor and Marianne. So John and Elinor and Marianne are half-brother and -sisters.

John Dashwood's wife, née Ferrars, feels that he should not spend his (THEIR/HER) income on his sisters or stepmother. So, she contrives to put them away somewhere because they are a nuisance that would diminish her son's inheritance, her own liviing circumstances so to say.

When they eventually get to London the Dashwoods don't even receive a morning call. It could be expected from a brother that he would call on his sisters or that his wife would do that. They do not call/leave no cards (in the case that no-one was there when they called) and when they meet on the street, they don't even talk in an easy manner.

They do not invite the sisters to dinner even, but instead go for the Steeles, although they know that it is slighting the Dashwoods as they are close to the Steeles and as they are family (it is proper to invite your own famiy to dinner first). Would that have anything to do with the contempt that Mrs John Dashwood feels for her sisters-in-law? The Dashwoods (E&M) were not there, were they? I seem to remember not. However, they were at one time invited to tea?

But the Steeles will prove a mistake as I said.

I also agree with Mona Amon: Mr John Dashwood was talked out of it by is wife like the beginning.

10-26-2009, 03:47 PM
Hmmm... that kind of clear it up. Anyway, I'm at a point in the book where everyone has just found out about Edward and Lucy, and Marianne feels upset because Elinor comforted her about Willoughby when she was silently grieving herself. That's where I'm up to. It's a good read, this book!

10-27-2009, 04:24 AM
Now wait for what happens to Edward!

10-27-2009, 02:12 PM
Hahahaha, he got kicked out. And Colonel Brandon invited Edward to his house. I have about 80 pages til the end of the book. I found it quite amusing when Mrs Jennings and Elinor were discussing what happened and their happiness, and Mrs Jennings got the wrong idea that Brandon was marrying Elinor. A rare funny moment by Austen in this book.

10-27-2009, 02:23 PM
Yes, that was indeed hilarious about Mrs Jennings. Glad you like Austen!

Wait what happens next! From now on it is going to prove very interesting, although it's going to calm down before it gains mementum again.

Isn't CB lovely? Ah, offering a situation to Ferrars, bless him.

But I think you did not quite get what happened:

CB has an estate with a vicarage on it. It is empty and he offers to Ferrars. It also includes an income a there are grounds to be cultivated (small grounds of course,not comparable to what CB has). So this is very valuable, because essentially it puts Ferrars in a state where he can marry has no financial concerns.

Sweet, isn't it?

That was the moment where CB really went into my heart.

10-27-2009, 04:43 PM
Oh, I get it now. But this will only help Lucy and Edward's prospects, right? I don't get why he wouldn't marry Lucy after all this kerfuffle when he was willing to get disowned for the cause.

10-28-2009, 05:11 AM
Oh, I get it now. But this will only help Lucy and Edward's prospects, right? I don't get why he wouldn't marry Lucy after all this kerfuffle when he was willing to get disowned for the cause.

He is planning to be honorable, yes, and marry the girl...

But, something will put a stop to it (the nature of one person)...

I'll leave you to the conclusion. :D

10-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Okay, you got me all excited now. I'll just have to keep on reading.

10-28-2009, 12:34 PM
It'll be a big surprise only at the end.

Prepare for Marianne now and everything connected with her... :D

They are amost going to leave London, aren't they?

10-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Yeah kinda I think. When I read more I'll repost.

11-02-2009, 01:34 PM
Wow, I'm so far into the book now that I have only three chapters left, and I cannot believe this awesome conclusion. Marianne got an illness, nearly died, Willoughby visited and told Elinor his story, then left, Elinor told Marianne and family his story of why he did everything, and Marianne is on the recovery. Colonel Brandon is growing closer to Marianne too. I can't wait to find out more about what happens to Elinor as she has been the rock in all hardships, and I just found out that Edward and Lucy are now married. So how will Elinor end up with him? Wow. Great book.

11-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Yes, that last stretch does kind of surprise, doesn't it?

What did you think of Willoughby?

I found it amazing that in the beginning, you think: 'Well, what's he got to say for hmself? He made Marrianne sick and now he's coming to beg for forgiveness. He's not going to get it from me, he isn't!'
And then, at the end, you think: 'oh, poor Willoughby. Nasty aunt. Ok, he did muck up with the other girl, but really, bless him, he wanted to be genuine with Marianne and everything went wrong. Poor guy, forever saddled with his Miss Grey.'
I found it quite amazing how Austen redeemed him just that little bit in only one chapter. The (how many pages is it?) before, you don't want to hear from him, and at the end of the chapter there is just that little bit of sadness...

And what did you think about Mr Palmer? I found him quite resposible and caring. Surprisng, actually, because you have never liked him much because he is always so sulky... But he must still love his wife, joining her when she is fleeing for Marianne's sickness with the baby.

And CB... He's just... ah! Really. He is the man for her. You remember what criticism he had to suffer from Marianne in the beginning? haha. It's in the Austen her-vote if you want to have a look. 'But he talked of flanel waistcoats'... At the point were he is coming back to Barton Cottage, Austen also writes something very funny!

You think Edward and Lucy are married, do you? Read on. All will be explained.

And then when you are done, you can watch your earlier comments. It's quite funny what one thinks before the conclusion... ;)

11-03-2009, 04:15 PM
I finished the book early yesterday night. That was a brilliant read. The thing I was amazed about most from the whole book was when I found out it was Robert married to Lucy instead. Wow. The ending was nice, too. Very warm. In terms of Willoughby, my sentiments towards him were just shut up and go away, but even before he began to speak I was excited because some part of me wanted to hear what he had to say. After he had finished, I do not think him vain or arrogant anymore - just unfortunate. I feel really happy for Brandon but in a way I felt true love was loopholed at the end. All in all, a great book. And I will keep commenting here if you want to carry on discussing. Also, I will read my earlier comments!

11-04-2009, 05:47 AM
It depends how one sees love... If love is a feeling that is created at first sight (as Marianne thought in the beginning) then certainly Willoughby was it and she was it for Willoughby. But if love is more than that, if it is a feeling of trust, friendship, stability, security etc. the rock so to say that keeps a relationship together then it is Colonel Brandon. If Willoughby was too much striken by his angry aunt to rebell or tell her that there was a girl he wanted to marry, and he married another one with a lot of money afterwards (result: unhappiness) then surely he did not want to fight for it and the 'love' wasn't that strong.

It is also interesting to note that Edward Ferrars has actually found himself in kind of the same position as Willoughby at some point: he meets Lucy Steele, falls in love and proposes. Years after, he cannot care less, but still keeps the engagement up out of propriety. This is not really Willoughby, but it is him all over on the infatuation-front (oh, ye yes, I'm in love, she is perfect). In the meantime though, Ferrars meets Elenor and there he finds a rock as Marianne finds finally in Brandon. The two do not show it and are not head-over-heels in love, but there is that deeper feeling. Brandon has neer ceased to love Marianne, not when Willoughby was his rival, not when Willoughby was the jerk, not when she was briefly gone out of sight, not when she was going to die. Elenor never ceased to love Edward although he lost his money (though that becomes alright after some time), although he turns out to be engaged, although she knew he was married...

By all means keep commenting. It's good to get stuff off your chest ;).

11-04-2009, 03:36 PM
Wow. Deep analysis. Yeah, but in terms of love from physical attraction and personality, I think it was Willoughby. With CB, I don't think Marianne found love, but more like they found solace in each other. I think Edward and Willoughby are completely different, that's just my opinion.

11-04-2009, 03:47 PM
Of course the men Ferrars and Willoughby are diffrent, but not their initial situations. That was what I was getting at. Oh, my God, if Elenor had wanted Willoughby or a man like hm, then she would have been seriously strange!

But deep analysis... You should see some of the debates on this forum...

11-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Forums are to discuss. Plus, the deeper the analysis, the more intellectual and broader-minded it makes you, in my opinion. Yeah, I get what you're saying now, and I agree. I also enjoyed how each of the characters take a journey through the book, where they develop their personality and desires. That intrigues me.

11-05-2009, 02:09 PM
That is beautyful about Austen, and some other writers: you feel like the novel was worth it because characters are better off afterards (what you can't say about lots of others)...

You said you only started a short while ago with reading... Why and what did you read before (or was that totally zero?)?

mona amon
11-05-2009, 02:41 PM
And what will you be reading next? :)

I sort of agree with Aamir more than with Kiki. I feel that by marrying Colonel Branden, Marianne does a very sensible thing, and I do not doubt that she'll be happy. But she has to sacrifice all her romantic ideals, and at such a young age. It was a pity.

I guess I just don't feel anything much for Colonel Brandon, while I really liked Marrianne!

11-05-2009, 04:36 PM
Willoughby seemed nice on the surface to me, but after his escapades with that daughter of CB's first love became known it kind of repelled me.

If a man can lie to a girl and take her to bed, ruin the life of that girl out of selfishness and if he can do something so despicable as what Willoughby did with Marianne (imagine the shock to the poor girl!) without even taking the trouble for explaining, then is he worth the trust? To me, he could well have put discretion away and explained his problem. What could Marianne hae done apart from take leave of him? He does not want to marry without money, then ok, fine, he doesn't, but still she would have known why he left her and wouldn't have suffered that much and foremost would not have felt used. Now, he just ignores her, sends the letters back without seeming explanation and is rude to her, and then she pines away almost. After whih he feels guilty. I think Mariiane's trust in romance had to be tempered a little.
Imagine the aunt would have let Willoughby marry Marianne, had he thrown himself upon her kindness (as another character does in another Asten-nvel. I won't say which not to spoil it for Aamir :D), what would she have suffered if she had found out about his pre-marital escapades with that girl and his illegitimate child? And furthermore, would he never have betrayed her trust? he can say he is in love now, but still, he told Miss Grey the same I would think when proposing to her (which woman would marry a man for anything but love anyway if she had a fortune of 30,000?).

Call me old-fashioned but I find a partner should be trustworthy and that is not Willoughby.

I don't know if Marianne loved Brandon. Maybe she went the same way as Lizzie... Firstly, uh, no, and then, well maybe...

mona amon
11-06-2009, 05:17 AM
No, no, I didn't mean that. I don't like Wiloughby either, and I think Marianne was lucky she didn't end up with him. It's just that there's such a complete rout of 'sensibility' and such an overwhelming triumph for 'sense' when Marianne marries Colonel Brandon. Why should 'sensibility' be such a bad thing just because one man that she falls in love with turns out to be an unprincipled libertine.

I felt Marianne was a lovely character. She is warm, generous, affectionate and bubbling with enthusiasm for the beautiful things in life. The affair with Wiloughby and her subsequent illness seem to break something in her, and her marriage to Colonel Brandon seems to be a result of a loss of confidence in herself and everything she believed in.

She might have really liked CB after a while, and that's why she married him; but that is something we have to imagine for ourselves. The text does not make us feel it, IMO.

11-06-2009, 06:02 AM
Maybe the reversal was the funny thing: Elenor goes more for sensibility and Marianne for sense. Although, I do believe that when Austen writes that Brandon was restored to cheerfullness by Marianne, that she 'could never love by halves' and that 'her heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband as it once had been to Willoughby', it does imply something.

Whether that something is not rather the opposite is question. However, her sufering sheds a light on her deep affection for Willoughby.

When Austen also writes that Marianne was born to 'an extraordinary fate', 'to discover the falsehood of her own opinions' maybe it could be read as a sneer towards her brother, who continues on his (erroneous) way and only comes to visit them when Colonel Brandon is becoming part of his family.

11-06-2009, 02:06 PM
Firstly, thanks to Kiki for not spoiling it. :D
I have heard a few interpretations of the title of the book - that Elinor stands for sense and Marianne for sensibility, or that CB stands for sense and Edward stands for sensibility, but in my opinion Sense and Sensibility is the journey they go through (referring to my other post), switching between the glands of both these emotions. In answer to your question Kiki - I was actually an avid reader of books before, but not classical ones. I used to read all the popular books (Harry Potter, Narnia, that sort of thing) plus books of my personal choice, but nothing that was really deep. To your question Mona - I actually got the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe today so I will probably start reading that tonight, so look for me on the Daniel Defoe board soon! I'll still keep talking about this awesome book, though.

11-06-2009, 03:34 PM
I think those interpretations are a little shallow, beause, as you say, they both (or all) have to put some water in their wine.

Have a lot of fun doing Robinson Crusoe. I have got Moll Flanders, but still need to get through Eliot's The Mill on the Floss (hard work)...

11-06-2009, 05:39 PM
What I was trying to communicate was that the title Sense and Sensibility, in my opinion, has an unrecognized profound meaning, which reflects the story considerably. What I was saying earlier about the characters journeys I still stand by - I don't believe that one character was meant to represent sense and another sensibility - I believe that each character had periods of both of these feelings, and the title represents this. If I asked you what Sense and Sensibility is about, you would probably say "Well, two sister move to...etc." I don't agree. I don't think the book is about Elinor and Marianne (it obviously revolves around them, but read on), but instead about two characters that personify themselves through Elinor and Marianne - Sense and Sensibility.

11-07-2009, 06:11 AM
Yes, that is a profound meaning, and will be more right than only sense in one person and sensibility in another.

They both go indeed through a journey so it does not make sense to put the two sisters each in one category.

The ironic thing is that Marianne calls Elinor unfeeling. That is certainly not true. Only, Elino is restrained, but that will not exclude sensibility from her... I think Marianne gets a little sense in the end. Not that she marries CB only out of snese, I don't think, but she restrains herself more and does not throw herself totally at anyone's feet anymore. She no longer is impulsive as she was with Willoughby...

11-08-2009, 12:07 PM
I completely agree. I found it funny that Elinor's sense led her to marry the man that she had the sensibility to, and Marianne's sensibility led her to marry the man that she knew it was sensible to marry. This backs up what I was saying earlier.

11-08-2009, 01:29 PM
For the marriage of Elinor, maybe there was sense involved, though, albeit very little. If she had wanted more money, she shoud have gone to look for a loaded man. Instead, she married one who was going to be a poor curate. But then, that was probably better than just staying unmarried (whom would she have met in Barton?). Mother did not have that great an income and they would have depended on charity eventually... Marrying was the only way out.

Other than that, Marianne eventually marries the older bachelor. I think she did feel something for him (that would account for the irony from the beginning) eventually. That said, with any luck, she would have been a widow at a reasonable age and could have married again. Not being cruel on brandon, but people did not become very old. Even if he were to live until 60, she would only have been 38. 80 was almost immortal... Although most gentlemen died because of accidents, not having child birth.

But, both girls come to see some errors in their ways and cnclude the middle way is the best...

11-08-2009, 02:11 PM
Yeah, again I agree. Something I found rather unexplained properly is why Lucy eventually married Robert. I didn't get the whole background around that. I got the basics though. I just didn't get the motives. Care to explain?

11-08-2009, 02:31 PM
I think it was her love of money. She fell in love with Edward and saw a great future as grand lady (only being the niece of a teacher). But, after years of engagement, when their relationship finally comes out, Edward is disinherite. So, she can make a big black cross over her future as grand lady and will become 'just' a clergyman's wife (=have a lot less money than anticipated). But, the brother, who is now the heir, has an eye on her and she decides to switch brothers and secure her future as grand lady...

I think that was it. She was a little bit of a selfish nasty cow. A little like her sister-in-law, actually.

mona amon
11-09-2009, 12:14 AM
That said, with any luck, she would have been a widow at a reasonable age and could have married again.


It wasn't only the age difference that put me off. I never felt that 18 year old Jane was making a mistake by marrying almost 40 year old Rochester; there's so much chemistry between them. But with Marianne and Colonel Brandon we just don't see how she overcame her initial contempt for his flannel waistcoats and rheumatism and unromantic ways. We are told that it happened, but we're not made to feel it, IMO, so it's not very convincing. Do they exchange any conversation at all? I really can't remember any, but that could just be my faulty memory.

11-09-2009, 04:19 AM
I thought it was that passage about 'after a three week absence in which CB could do nothing in the evening hours but calculate the difference between 36 (?) and 17, brought him back to Barton in low spirits.' And then something about the fact tat he needed all the improvement of Marianne's spirits and all the encouragement of her mother...


I think we are led to believe that Marianne has changed her mind. However, maybe her mother helped a little... She, as his future mother-in-law, definitely participates in the encouragement he receives... At any rate, for her it's also a win, because she'l never have true financial trouble again.

The question is what went on at their first meeting after her near-death.

11-10-2009, 05:12 PM

It wasn't only the age difference that put me off. I never felt that 18 year old Jane was making a mistake by marrying almost 40 year old Rochester; there's so much chemistry between them. But with Marianne and Colonel Brandon we just don't see how she overcame her initial contempt for his flannel waistcoats and rheumatism and unromantic ways. We are told that it happened, but we're not made to feel it, IMO, so it's not very convincing. Do they exchange any conversation at all? I really can't remember any, but that could just be my faulty memory.

I agree kind of. However, I think that this book, because it was Austen's first novel, is lacking of experience. It could have been much thicker, and intricate, and outline the finer points of the development of their relationship. On the other hand, I think without that it makes the story more entertaining, so I don't know.

11-10-2009, 11:08 PM
Just a side note here and a suggestion. I have read this books many years ago and I love the film adapation by Ang Lee. The screenplay won best Oscar and was written by Emma Thompson. I think if you saw the story acted out on film, you would understand CB and the subtle relationship which forms between he and Marianne. I just love the film and have seen it many times over by now...one of my favorite novel adaptations. I agree that Willoughby was pretty low to have hurt two (used) woman as he did; but I think even in his character we can find some sense of human frality and forgiveness, when interpretted in the film version; he is very much dictated to by his fortune and it is true that he and Edward are very different. If I had the time, I would re-read the book; but I don't presently. Still it's interesting to read all of your comments. It's a lovely story and I think that Marianne will indeed be very happy at sometime having married CB.

11-10-2009, 11:31 PM
Marianne, as I think a lot of women and people in general do, had to stop and listen not necessarily to reason but to silence long enough to hear her own heart really talking and I think that is what occasioned her eventual decision.

11-11-2009, 01:15 PM
I kind of agree with Janine, but this is the book we're talking about, not the film (which I haven't seen by the way).

11-11-2009, 01:17 PM
Just a side note here and a suggestion. I have read this books many years ago and I love the film adapation by Ang Lee. The screenplay won best Oscar and was written by Emma Thompson. I think if you saw the story acted out on film, you would understand CB and the subtle relationship which forms between he and Marianne. I just love the film and have seen it many times over by now...one of my favorite novel adaptations. I agree that Willoughby was pretty low to have hurt two (used) woman as he did; but I think even in his character we can find some sense of human frality and forgiveness, when interpretted in the film version; he is very much dictated to by his fortune and it is true that he and Edward are very different. If I had the time, I would re-read the book; but I don't presently. Still it's interesting to read all of your comments. It's a lovely story and I think that Marianne will indeed be very happy at sometime having married CB.

Yes, I think it is amazing how Willoughby gets somehow redeemed a little... It was one of the great surprises. Much like the one of Darcy... (not to spoil it for Aamir) I think that is very skilful writing.

mona amon
11-12-2009, 12:32 AM
Kiki, are you talking about the film or the book? I haven't seen the film yet, but in the book I don't feel he gets redeemed at all. All we find out is that he did love Marianne, in his way, and I never for a moment doubted that.

I really feel that Austen didn't have to make Willoughby quite so bad. A weak young man who didn't have the courage to risk marrying Marrianne would have been enough. Did he have to be such a cad and seducer into the bargain? :)

11-12-2009, 04:28 AM
I am talking about the book. I can't remember the film... Saw it once or twice (the first time not reading Austen), but the end was different according to the teacher. I think it is the fct that there is no conversation between Wiloughby and Elinor... Fans, please help me out here.

I think the difference between us lies in the fact that you didn't doubt his love where I did.

At the moment where he sends back the letter to Marianne after ignoring her a while, I really was astonished. And then the thing about that girl he eloped with and abandoned heavily pregnant... I really had something like: 'phew. That was a close call for Marianne.' I think that that chapter where he talks to Elinor is important for theones who doubted him.

I don't know, I thought that all that was really intended to make us, and him doubt... And then have the aunt say: ' might have let you marry her if you had only told me...' nana. Actually he is really (loathsomely) pitiable.

Isn't it ironic that CB needs to clear up the mess of Willoughby in two women?

mona amon
11-15-2009, 11:35 PM
I think the difference between us lies in the fact that you didn't doubt his love where I did.

In that case, he would certainly seem a little redeemed in the end. Marrianne was my favourite character in this book, so I guess I refused to believe that her judgement could be completely wrong.

I wonder why Colonel Brandon doesn't warn the two girls about Willoughby. Is that explained in the book?

11-16-2009, 04:45 AM
Marianne wasn't really the problem for me. One can see anything he likes when in love... I guess it was his conduct in London hat mad it 'obvious' that he had been having her on...

The grounds for CB not telling the two about the eloping of Willoughby, I think, lie in all-governing discretion. The reputation you had in society largely depended upon your own conduct in public. Sadly not on things you did somewhere else, unless they had been heroic. Certainly bad/dishonorable things were never told of out of discretion for the other. So CB does not tell of the fact that Willoughby eloped, never got married, still got the girl pregnant (when he gets that letter in the middle of that party at the Middletons) because he does not want to disgrace Willoughby, as that is improper. On top of that, telling the whole story would also get his own past into the bargain (the mother of the girl who is his old love) and that is irelevant. Not that it is embarrasing, but it's not nice that everyone knows your past... So he tells nothing, with this result. I think he feels guilty by the end about it and therefore makes up at least with Ferrars (to touch one of the sisters at least). It's another Austen-big-laugh about manners and how they affect the rest (badly).


Remember that Mr Darcy never spoke about Wickham, which he should have done from the start. Even at the point where Lizzie knows, she cannot tell out of discretion for Darcy's sister. Up to the point of course that Lydia elopes. Something they could have foreseen long before that... That is a little more dishonorable, though, but the situation lies in the same line...