Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First thoughts on Austen's Sense and Sensibility

First book of the summer: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

So far, I've loved getting acquainted with the characters: their virtues, their vices, their idiosyncrasies, and their motivations. I just finished Chapter 5 and the verdict so far is that Marianne is my favorite character.  The first real introduction we get of her is when she complains to her mother about her older sister's courtier, Edward. She asserts that, although Edward has virtue and amiability, he lacks the passion and the "taste" essential for any young man she would ever consider. She claims that she could "not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with [her] own." Okay, so maybe Marianne is a little too picky and hopefully her seventeen year old self will mature a little bit, but I cannot help but love her passion and her spirit. She will not settle for a blahsay reading of passionate poetry or a simply 'sensible' take on life. I think what draws me to Marianne so much is that she's so different from me. I definitely resemble the eldest daughter, Elinor: always looking for the most sensible, frugal, and prudent answer. But is Elinor (am I) missing the lively passion of Marianne?

God has given us passions (emotions) that reflect him and are to be geared towards him. And he has given us creative capacity to be able to express those emotions. Through music, dance, literature, and poetry.

So..I love that Marianne thinks in such poetic language! Below is the passage that made me love her and inspired this blog:

Many were the tears shed by them in their last ... adieus to a place so much beloved. "Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne, as she wandered alone before the house, on the last evening of their being there; "when shall I cease to regret you? -- when learn to feel a home elsewhere? -- Oh happy house! could you know what I suffer in now viewing you from this spot, from whence perhaps I may view you no more! -- And you, ye well-known trees! -- but you will continue the same. -- No leaf will decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionless although we can observe you no longer! -- No; you will continue the same; unconscious of the pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in those who walk under your shade! -- But who will remain to enjoy you?" (5.8)

I know absolutely nothing about this book going in, so forgive me if my first impression of Marianne is completly foolish, but--for now at least--I love her passion and her less-than-sensible take on life.


Beauty in a Barn and a Blanket of Snow

Beauty in a Barn and a Blanket of Snow