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 Sense and Sensibility

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Kate
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PostSubject: Sense and Sensibility   Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:28 pm

Our first book for this month is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.



For the month of romance we have chosen this classic tale of two sisters and their very different path towards finding true love!


Here's the Amazon description:
Quote :

Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness—as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.
Startling secrets, unexpected twists, and heartless betrayals interrupt the marriage games that follow. Filled with satiric wit and subtle characterizations, Sense and Sensibility teaches that true love requires a balance of reason and emotion.

I admit I have read this before, after I fell in love with the movie (and Alan Rickman, which is part of the reason I have always trusted Snape).

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PostSubject: Pride and Predjudice and Zombies   Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:32 pm

http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/02/monster-mash-up.html


Yes! A Jane Austen book I might actually like Smile I'm about half way through Sense and Sensibility, and I just don't care if I finish it. I'll do my best though.
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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:58 pm

This is on like Donkey Kong! I say we make this April's book!!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:38 am

While trying to pre-order it on amazon, because this is a book I must have, it says it won't be shipping til May 18th. It also doesn't say when a release date is. So I don't know. Should I try to find it in bookstores, or buy it now?
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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:47 am

Buy now, you can cancel it if you find one sooner, Amazon I think charges when it ships.

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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:22 pm

Kate mentioned to me that you guys had been talking about this book and I was like "What?" scratch
But now I think that it sounds AWESOME!!!
I'm all about reading that one!





Yeah, the Mormons have been distracting me this month so I am not as far into S&S as I would have liked. But I still think I have a very good chance to finish it before the end of the month. Freaking Mormons Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:59 pm

What??? The only Mormons I know are on Big Love. Talk about drama. I hope you're not getting involved with Mormon gambling and compounds;)
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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:19 pm

I am extending the deadline for this book until Feb 2nd, because I am sick, the kind of sick where the meds knock me out.

Anyways, I have finished part One and here are my thoughts:

I really get annoyed with Marianne! She has very unrealistic views on love, which sadly will be soon corrected. I love when Col. Brandon tells Elinor that she shouldn't wish Marianne to change, because it would mean that her sister would suffer. He is such a cool guy!

I read this book back when I was in high school, but as I have seen the movie a hundred times since then that is the version that stuck with me. There are for sure some differences!

I am so pissed at Edward for wearing that lock of Lucy's hair!! I hate the Steele sisters, hate them! In the movie Edward comes close to confessing early to Elinor, and his relationship with the family is a bit sweeter= especially him and Margaret.

As for Whillowby... I don't care for his and Marianne's relationship (and I am not judging this on future events!). It's so exclusive and snobby... the way they discuss everyone, especially poor Col, Brandon makes me mad. Plus they should know better than to be acting the way they have in public, especially considering the rules of the society that they both are aware of.

To get to earlier parts of the book, I dislike John and Fanny. John for being weak, and Fanny for being cheap and stingy. My dislike for them will surely only increase over time. But that being said, I am glad that the Dashwood women didn't take their money- not that any was offered- I find their arrangements at Barton cottage to be ideal. Any rich relatives that want to give me and Aaron a house? Because we are so aboard that plan!

I could rail against a society that would not allow Mr. Dashwood to leave all his children well provided for, but the book makes that point beautifully. Its a theme that Austen visits in other novels as well.

Now, Emmy has to pee, so I am going to take my sick, tired, stuffy head ass outside. Dammit.

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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 pm

First of all let me apologize for it taking so long to write this responce to Sense and Sensibility. I finished the book on Sunday but just haven't had the ability or the time to get on and type out my thoughts.
Upon finishing the book it became clear to me that there is a distinction between fans of the Jane Austen books and fans of the Jane Austen movies. I think I am more partial to the movies. I loved Pride and Prejudice but really didn't care for Sense and Sensibility at all. The beginning was interesting enough but the middle just moved so slowly. There was one part were the Dashwood sisters attend yet another party where Austen actually writes; "The events of this evening were not very remarkable."
It was right about that point in the book when it actually started to take me about three hours just to read twenty pages.
Having a decent beginning and an interminable middle could easily be redeemed by a passionate ending, however unfortunatly the ending just felt incomplete.
The one thing I did enjoy about Sense and Sensibility was the humor that was mostlly found in the characters of Mrs. Jenning's and the Palmers. I felt that they were the more entertaining figures in the book and loved their scenes. There were some times where Marianne begins to be cruel towards them and those moments made me not really care for her at all.
In fact I found Marianne to be quiet selfish in this story. She only cared about the dramas and emotions in her own life. She hardly ever took the time to look around her at whom she might be hurting by her actions. The book talks about her going against the common styles of courting for that time, she refuses to keep herself composed and enjoys flaunting her feelings for Willoughby. It never occured to her how those actions might effect her family. But in that time your reputation was a large part effects by the actions of your entire family. Look at Pride and Prejudice, one of the incriminating traits that Mr. Darcy sees towards Jane and Elizabeth is the behavior of their family. Would not the same be true from Marianne's actions reflecting poorly on Elinor or Margaret?
Now in the movie (and I am refferring to the Emma Thompson version) this side of Marianne is shown, but it some how comes across in a slightly kinder manner. While reading about it in black and white the actions seem more abrasive and harsh, at least to me.
I related to Elinor. When "courting" I am much more likely to hide my true feelings, never willing to risk too much. I admire the girls who can just walk up to the guy they are interested in and take charge, make the first move, but that is so not me. I also admired Elinor's ability to put the feelings of others before her own. To take care of the people around her before tending to herself. The book left me wondering why Colonel Brandon didn't go for her instead of Marianne. I mean sure Marianne reminded him of what he had once lost, but is that really love? Having seen the movie first, watching Alan Rickman dote so heavily on Kate Winslet, the way he looks at her, worries about her, the scene where he is waiting outside her room while she is sick feeling like he is going to go mad if he doesn't have a way of helping, or the scene where he is reading to her in the end...all of those things combined will help me to never doubt that Colonel Brandon truly loved Marianne. But in the book, most of those moments aren't portrayed or at least not to the degree that really shows his liking for her beyond attraction. While on the other hand you have Elinor who has been attentive and loyal to him.
Then you have Edward, who when you reallly break it down, is hardly in the book. I mean he is talked about a great deal, but if you were to take the book apart and only look at the scenes where he is actually there, you would barely have a handful. I am convinced that Elinor loved Edward, however again, how much did he really love her? I got the impression from the movie that he really didn't communicate with Lucy that much, however in the book, he stays at her home for a while and writes to her constantly. He even wears the ring she gave him when he is staying with the Dashwood's, I mean I am sorry but what the hell is up with that?
But what really made me mad was the ending to their story. Edward comes over, drops the bombshell that Lucy has married Robert, and then when Elinor leaves the room crying he just walks out. And after all the buildup all Austen writes about their engagment is; "...in what manner he expressed himself, and how he was received, need not be particularly told. This only need be said;--that when they all sat down to table at four o'clock, about three hours after his arrival, he had secured his lady..." THAT'S IT!!! In Pride and Prejudice we have lines like "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." But in Sense and Sensibility he just "secured his lady". How upsetting!
Another character that I did like was Mrs. Dashwood, the mother. But only because she reminded me of Kate! In the way that for her own reasons she wants her girls to be happily married and for love. So much that even when those guys do things that on the surface seem to say they have no feelings for the Elinor or Marianne, she is right there ready to justify their actions. She can think up a million excusing for their behavior that all lead back to the idea that in the end he does still care for them. Kate is very much like that, and God bless her for it!

The other thing that this book made me think about were the main themes of the Austen books. All most in a way, Jane Austen's own rules to live by.
1. When courting always remain proper and composed. I know that in the Austen books I have read it tends to be the girl who goes against the society's rules towards courting that in the end get taught the lesson. You can reference Marianne and Kitty for that one. But then at the same time you have characters like Jane Bennet and Elinor Dashwood who are interested, even love, the guys in their stories, however Mr. Bingly and Edward are easily convinced that they feel only friendship for them. I probably have that same problem in my life no doubt.
2- Although there may be many reasons to decline getting married, there should only ever be one reason for actually getting married; love. When you look at characters like Willoughby and even Edward, you can see that Austen believed in this rule. Willoughby marries for money, but he will never fully be happy. And Edward was stuck in his engagment to Lucy but you always knew that he was to be pitied because he didn't really love her either.
and 3. Love is an act of sanity. Or at least true love should be. For this last one I am picturing Emma and then Marianne. Both girls were cruel and selfish, but they when they found love, it calmed them. Marianne thought she loved Willoughby, and maybe in a way she did, but she behaved so recklessly, so thoughtlessly. I do believe that true love strengthens us. It makes us want to be kinder and selfless. The better verisons of ourselves. Like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.
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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:23 pm

I agree, Elinor is much more my speed, and I concur that in the novel she and Brandon seem the more likely couple. But I love that Brandon continued pining for Marianne, even though he had no hope of ever winning her heart. His love, once given, remains loyal.

I didn't get the impression that Edward wrote constantly to Lucy, rather that she pestered him constantly and out of good faith Edward was compelled to continue their relationship. His wearing her ring, despite his loss of affection towards her, goes a long way to saying what a loyal man he was as well. One thing that bothered me in the book was his total lack of ambition. He sort of settles for joining the church, where in the movie it seems much more of what he would prefer to do if his family allowed him to choose his career. I have a hard time believing that with her own future and finances so at peril, that Elinor would fall for a man of fortune but with no direction.

I loved the Palmers and Mrs. Jennings as well, but I admit that Mr. Palmer is so much more attractive in the movie, mostly because he is so sweet toward Marianne and Elinor during Marianne's illness... and him being played by Hugh Laurie was not exactly a detriment.

Although I read both stories when I was a teen, Sense and Sensibility- at least the movie, was my first love. The book, when I picked it up again, was surprisingly long. I ended up reading the majority of it quite quickly towards the end, but only because I felt the push of the deadline. It was definitely slower paced than I would have like, and in places was overly descriptive, in the other areas it was bare. I would have liked to learn how Willoughby ended up meeting and wooing Beth- how she came to run away with him and why she would have without an elopement. And I imagine that Willoughby's wife must have heard about Marianne and would like to know why she accepted him anyway.

All in all, I'm proud that we got through this book, yay us!!

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PostSubject: Re: Sense and Sensibility   Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm

There was one line in the book referring to Willoughby's new wife not being very pretty. There wasn't much explanation behind it but I think it was there to imply that it would be the reason she excepted Willoughby. Maybe she was insecure and despite her money didn't feel like she had any other prospects. Also if she was insecure it would be much easier for Willoughby to charm her and make her believe he really did love her. But I think it also says something about the time. In those days the women didn't really have anything to do but find a husband. So I'm guessing once you had them, you would pretty much forgive anything just to keep him. That might be why Austen focused so much on people getting married only for love in her books. She probably saw all the young women around her entering such unhappy marriages that she reflected on that in her characters.
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