Wednesday, 10 July 2013

''Sense and Sensibility''- Book Review

Author: Jane Austen
Published: 1811

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5


I have read several of Jane Austen's novels this year. I LOVED Emma, and it perhaps has become one of my favorite novels, and also loved Persuasion, and just liked Mansfield Park. And I really liked Sense and Sensibility. This novel has excellently developed characters, incidences, situations, and it was a very pleasant and enjoyable read.

The novel has two heroines: Elinor Dashwood, who at the beginning of the novel, is a matured young woman of nineteen, and Elinor's younger sister, Marianne, who is not as mature as her sister. The novel tells the story of the love, experiences, heartbreaks, happiness, sorrow of the two sisters. Though Elinor is the major heroine, Marianne's love, heartbreak, and most importantly, her becoming mature because of the incidences that she has to go through, is also given equal emphasis.

At the beginning of the novel, Mr Dashwood dies, leaving a widow (who was his second wife) and her three daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, and a son from his first marriage, John Dashwood, and John's wife Fanny Dashwood.  John inherits Norland Park, the residence of Mrs Dashwood and her three sisters, and they moved to Norland. Mrs Dashwood is soon disgusted by the attitude of the selfish John and his even more selfish wife, Fanny. Meanwhile, Elinor becomes close to Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, and it seems apparent that they are in love. Mrs Dashwood heartily appreciates the relation between Elinor and Edward. Soon, Mrs Dashwood and her three daughters moved to Barton, settling at a small cottage belonging to Sir John Middleton, a distant relative.

At Barton, Marianne becomes close to Mr Willoughby, a charming and handsome young man. It seems that they are certainly they are in love. Readers also meet Colonel Brandon, an unmarried friend of Sir John. It is apparent that Colonel Brandon loves Marianne, and it is also apparent that Marianne dislikes the Colonel. For some unclear reasons, Willoughby is forced to go to London, leaving Marianne sad and lonely.

Soon, Marianne and Elinor go to London with Mrs Jennings, Sir John's mother-in-law. There both the sisters come across painful incidences and revelations regarding the men whom they love, bringing sorrow, disappointment and heartbreak to both of them. In the end, will the broken hearts be mended? Will the misunderstandings be cleared? Will everyone be happy?

I really enjoyed reading Sense and Sensibility. I liked the characters. Elinor, another matured Jane Austen heroine, is very likeable. I found Marianne likeable at times and quite irritating at others. For example, when Marianne and Willoughby criticize the modest and decent Colonel Brandon in such a harsh way, it was really very sad and irritating! I also liked Edward Ferrars, though he did not have that much depth that the other Austen heroes have. Like the characters of the novel, I also disliked Willoughby, but I have to admit that his confession near the end of the novel was really pitiable. I also liked Mrs Jennings. She was quite a funny character! Her misunderstanding, misconceptions, and quick decision on who is going to marry whom, was indeed very funny! 

The novel deals with the two heroines' love, hope, fear, hopelessness, disappointment. Marianne Dashwood's becoming more matured through the course of the novel is also quite remarkable! The romance has, however, little depth. The romance is mostly expressed through the sorrow of the heroines after losing, or facing the possibility of losing, the person they love. It was really touching at times.

On the whole, I didn't exactly love Sense and Sensibility, nor will it be one of my favorite Jane Austen novel, but it was certainly quite a delight to read this book! It was pleasurable, enjoyable, and at times, an emotional read!

4 out of 5

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