“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”
Sense and Sensibility is the first novel of the English author, Jane Austen which was published in 1811. It starts of with the introduction of Mr. Dashwood’s death. As the elder and only son in the family, John Dashwood and his wife, Fanny to have Norland Park. This causes the Dashwoods sisters and their widowed mother to be broke and move from Norland estate in which they grew to Barton Cottage in Devonshire, England. Although the Dashwoods is a big family of three daughters and one son from the first marriage, the novel focuses on the two: Elinor and Marianne. Austen’s story centers on the society, social status, marriage, love, family, money, and values of 19th century London. It was set mainly on Sussex and Devonshire England.
Marriage is the most important aspect in this book. The annual income of a person and if the two person is a good match or not are both factors to b determined before marriage. It’s not always love. Marriage in 19th century is political, economical , social, and alliance between two families. Austen’s depiction of femininity and values from 19th century women is completely different from the ones we knew. Underneath those fancy dresses and eloquent language, reveals a wise, sensible, and inexorable character. Elinor is the older daughter than Marianne. She’s sensible when it comes to love and marriage. She’s logical and practical when it comes to love and choosing who to marry. When it comes to the family, she’s the one to shows a strong character and comforts the Dashwoods in times of need. She doesn’t show much emotion and tries to hide it unlike Marianne who is fickle-minded, emotional on the outside and gets easily swayed by men in particular. For whoever men she meets, she gets winded up and be emotional invested without thinking about the person’s real character.
Sense and Sensibility is a straighforward book. Austen’s writing flow easily and it’s one of the classics that is not hard to depict because it doesn’t use symbolism. Her works is famous for its heavy satire that’s clear on narration and focuses on the character building. In Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion it is clear how the story will end. In Sense and Sensibility, it’s one of the books that I get confused who are the characters will end up with. Austen puts us on the real world depiction of love. We cannot always choose who to end up with. It’s the unexpected person that comes. It takes times to see a person’s real character and intentions.
I highly recommend Sense and Sensibility. It’s my favorite Jane Austen novel and Persuasion. If you haven’t started any classic novel and want to start one, Austen is a great way to start it. I’ve got Mansfield Park and Emma on my TBR list.