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Anita-chan
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
In my opinion, "Sense and sensibility" is the driest and dullest book of Austen. The characters, however, are quite well-developed, so that made up for the aridness of the story. Overally, though not as good as her other novels, it is still regarded as a good read.<br>~A-chan

Flora
12-20-2005, 09:50 AM
I found it interesting as a book, but I did not like Elinor that much. Elinor seemed too plain, somehowe boring person, and though Marianne was more interesting in her romantic ignorance, she sometimes seemed too naive...

elinor_dashwood
01-27-2007, 06:45 PM
It's not for everyone, but Sense and Sensibility is my favorite book. I would suggest leaving it be for a few years and then reading it again later--I did so and discovered all sorts of witty remarks I'd missed earlier, and realized Elinor is really a hilarious character. I think the story line is much more complicated than some others of Austen's, and the way the characters are all interrelated makes the plot richer than others that seem simple to explain.

olivia s
02-24-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm on Part Three, and it's true, it does drag... As this is the third of Austen's novels that I've read, I'm familiar with most of her plot/character/whateveryouwanttocallit devices, and it's just getting frustrating at this point - especially as I think I have a very good idea of how it's going to end! Still, I agree - for character depth and plot complexity, S&S can't be beat, even if it is long.


I found it interesting as a book, but I did not like Elinor that much. Elinor seemed too plain, somehowe boring person, and though Marianne was more interesting in her romantic ignorance, she sometimes seemed too naive...

It's clear that Elinor is the character with whom Austen identifies herself. At this point in the novel, what I want to know is this: will Austen continue to promote her as the ideal, or will Elinor come to the conclusion that she ought be more forthright, as her sister? Throughout my sloppy reading of the last couple of chapters, I've received the impression, that maybe Elinor feels that she has exercised too much self-control... Austen usually has her characters make some sort of character adjustment at the end, coupled with a moral teaching, so this would seem the logical conclusion.

Yes, Elinor is somewhat boring, and sometimes too constrained, I still admire her, even though I do not always agree with her actions. I think, Flora, that what Austen is trying to show is that neither of these attitudes, carried to the extreme, is desirable, and that one should take a moderate approach. Also, by identfying with one of the two, you're supposed to gain insight on yourself.

Matrim Cuathon
02-24-2007, 10:05 PM
the last paragraph sttruck me as something i am perfectly in agreement with. I definitely think she is saying that being one or the other isnt the answer. and it is quite fun to compare one's self and various people to the 2 sisters.

Adudaewen
02-24-2007, 11:05 PM
I have to say that I'm surprised because I adored S&S. I guess it is because I see alot of myself in Elinor. And I loved her dry wit and sense of humor. I guess now that I think about it, there were some chapters that seemed a little harder to get through than others, but I loved the twists and turns and emotional rollercoaster that I went through while reading it.

Blackjack Davy
04-06-2007, 02:35 PM
I've got to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definately one of the best novels that I've read. Maybe you're looking for something more romantic? S&S is essentially an intellectual debate on the merits of Sense v. Sensibility and self v. society dramatised and if the argument doesn't interest you, well then there you go. I found it fascinating and it certainly made me think about the nature of the individual and society, and how much do we owe to society and how much do we owe to ourselves as individuals? Certainly made me think hard about the way I look at the world and maybe changed my attitude a little too.

Newcomer
04-14-2007, 12:12 PM
S&S is essentially an intellectual debate on the merits of Sense v. Sensibility and self v. society dramatised and if the argument doesn't interest you, well then there you go. I found it fascinating and it certainly made me think about the nature of the individual and society, and how much do we owe to society and how much do we owe to ourselves as individuals?

A very insightful!
You might be interested in Evertt Zimmerman's essay, Admiring Pope no more than is proper: Sense and Sensibility, in Jane Austen Bicentenary Essays, Cambridge University Press 1975. He develops some of the arguments that you noted.

Newcomer
05-11-2007, 10:24 PM
It's not for everyone, but Sense and Sensibility is my favorite book. I would suggest leaving it be for a few years and then reading it again later--I did so and discovered all sorts of witty remarks I'd missed earlier, and realized Elinor is really a hilarious character. I think the story line is much more complicated than some others of Austen's, and the way the characters are all interrelated makes the plot richer than others that seem simple to explain.

Very nice post. I quite agree, it's a book to be reread after one has read all others.
Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion are the most complex of Austen's novels. The canvas in Sense & Sensibility is much broader, she depicts, using the third as well as first person, the emotional state of a character, controversial subjects such as, out of wedlock parenthood, men marrying for money and consequently romantic fidelity, and the consequences of coming down in social status, subjects that Austen abandons in latter novels. The most astonishing is the Roshomon like dialog between Elinor and Willoughby, the heroine and the villain, dissecting his motivation, - “He held out his hand. She could not refuse to give him hers: he pressed it with affection.”
.......“Elinor's heart, which had undergone many changes in the course of this extraordinary conversation, was now softened again; yet she felt it her duty to check such ideas in her companion as the last.”
......"Yes, you have certainly removed something- a little. You have proved yourself, on the whole, less faulty than I had believed you. You have proved your heart less wicked, much less wicked. But I hardly know- the misery that you have inflicted- I hardly know what could have made it worse."
Newer again does Austen pursue such ambiguity of character. One has to read them all to be aware how unusual is the treatment of these subjects in Sense & Sensibility.
However I do not find that ' Elinor is really a hilarious character', she is somewhat melancholy, a premature loss of bloom like Anna in Persuasion, due to an assumed sense of responsibility. She is funny in interaction with others but that is pointing out the absurdity of others and not of joy in self. It has a valedictory quality, ironic as it is a forerunner of themes developed in the following novels.

Sir Bartholomew
08-12-2007, 09:03 PM
I second to that Anita-Chan! Didn't you guys notice that Austen's view of propriety has considerable changed from S&S to Persuasion? I'm not sure but I know of this smart line from Anne Elliot about her prefering those people who blunder to those who stay quiet and neutral (like Elinor Dashwood).