By G. Castilla
The book Sense and Sensibility was written in 1811 by Jane Austen, one of my favourite authors. It has some old English vocabulary, however not too much. It is a story for those who are romantic, since it is about two love affairs.
The plot is about two sisters, Marianne Dashwood and Elinor Dashwood, and their love stories. Both sisters become visitors in their own property when they lose their dear father and all their belongings and money with him. Their half-brother, John, and his awful wife, Fanny, became the new owners of the beautiful, wealthy estate. After a while, Fanny’s bother, Edward Ferrar, comes to visit. Ferrar is too conservative for the young, beauty Marianne, but soon Elinor is enchanted by Ferrar. After spending time together, they soon fall in love. However, he never proposes because Fanny objects to it.
Consequently Marianne and Elinor, move into a cottage that belongs to a distant cousin. There, Marianne falls for the dashing but unsuitable Mr Willoughby. During their stay, Colonel Brandon a close friend of their cousin, Sir John Middleton, starts to care for Marianne, as she reminds him of a dear girl of his past. As the weeks go by Elinor suffers because of Edward, who vanishes and never calls her again. Suspicions arise, especially from their cousin’s mother-in-law, Mrs Jennings, who says that Marianne and Mr Willoughby are engaged.
Many surprises and heartbreaks follow, including betrayal and mistrust. The story involves humor and distress. The characters seem real, although there are some exaggerations made by the author on some character’s past. A few characters such as Mrs Jennings and Sir John Middleton are funny, because of their gossip about other people’s lives, causing awkward moments and stressing the other characters. Whereas Mrs Jennings is just bored, because she already did her duty of marrying off her daughters and feels the same necessity to do so towards the Dashwoods, Sir John Middleton cannot stand being without visitors and wants to have a dinner parties everyday. Marianne is very arrogant and spoiled, she is very impulsive and acts before thinking making everyone believe she is to be married. Marianne is romantic, passionate and very poorly educated. Coronel Brandon is very pitiful, and Jane Austen’s writing makes you feel more for him, than for Mr Willoughby. You do wish Marianne end up with Brandon. He is introduced as being silent and grave, but with a sensible mind and a gentlemanly disposition. As for Mr Willoughby, he is handsome and nice, but Brandon is better, since Mr Willoughby judges people far too easily and is quite mean towards acquaintances. Edward and Elinor are shy and sensitive to social convention. They are sutiable for one and another. She is reserved and practical, whereas he has fortitude and common sense.
The book is quite long, however the plot escalates quickly and is great read. The characters can seem exaggerated and be quite annoying at first, though. The title foreshadows the plot, as it hints that Elinor is ‘sense’ and Marianne is ‘sensibility’. Overall I do recommend this book, as it is a classic novel and is enriching.