Sense and SensibilityBook - 1981
In its marvelously perceptive portrayal of two young women in love, Sense and Sensibility is the answer to those who believe that Jane Austen's novels, despite their perfection of form and tone, lack strong feeling.
Its two heroines, Marianne and Elinor--so utterly unlike each other-both undergo the most violent passions when they are separated from the men they love. What differentiates them, and gives this extraordinary book its complexity and brilliance, is the way each expresses her suffering: Marianne-young, impetuous, ardent-falls into paroxysms of grief when she is rejected by the dashing John Willoughby; while her sister, Elinor--wiser, more sensible, more self-controlled--masks her despair when it appears that Edward Ferrars is to marry the mean-spirited and cunning Lucy Steele. All, of course, ends happily--but not until Elinor's "sense" and Marianne's "sensibility" have equally worked to reveal the profound emotional life that runs beneath the surface of Austen's immaculate and irresistible art.
From the critics
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"...The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love."
--Marianne pg. 18
"Thunderbolts and Daggers! what a reproof would she have given me! her taste, her opinions --- I believe they are better known to me than my own-- and I am sure they are dearer."
--Willoughby pg. 334
"How horrid all this is!" said he. "Such weather makes everything and everybody disgusting. Dullness is a much produced within doors as without, by rain. It makes one detest all one's acquaintance. What the devil does Sir John mean by not having a billiard room in his house? How few people know what comfort is! Sir John is as stupid as the weather."
-- Mr. Palmer pg. 115
"When he was present, she had no eyes for anyone else. Everything he did was right. Everything he said was clever. If their evenings at the Park were concluded with cards, he cheated himself and all the rest of the party to get her a good hand. If dancing formed the amusement of the night, they were partners for half the time and, when obliged to separate for a couple of dances, were careful to stand together and scarcely spoke a word to anybody else. Such conduct made them of course most exceedingly laughed at; but ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provoke them."
-- pg. 57
"His person and air were equal to what her fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favorite story..."
-- pg. 46
"At first sight, his address is certainly not striking; and his person can hardly be called handsome, till the expression of his eyes, which are uncommonly good, and the general sweetness of his countenance are perceived. At present, I know him so well that I think him really handsome; or, at least, almost so."
-- Elinor pg. 21
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