Genre: Historical Romance
Published: October 30th 1811
Goodreads Rating: 4.08 / 5
My Rating: 4 / 5
Upon Henry Dashwood’s death his estate, Norland Park, is passed down to his son John from his first marriage. Mrs Dashwood, his second wife, and their three daughters must move from Norland Park since John’s greedy wife treats them with disdain.
Leaving from the estate on which they grew up the three Dashwood sisters and their mother rent a rather modest home, Barton Cottage, on the property of a distant relative, Sir John Middleton.
There they experience love, romance and heartbreak that completely transforms their lives…
Elinor Dashwood is shown to possess a coolness of judgement and strength of understanding that make her a good counselor to others, especially her mother. Although capable of feeling deeply like her sister Marianne she knows how to govern her feelings better, as she is more aware of the demands society makes upon women and more prepared to compromise. Though she makes mistakes in judging people her awareness of her own flaws allows her to learn from them.
Marianne Dashwood is the epitome of romanticism with her spontaneity, excessive sensibility, love of nature and idealism. She behaves rather impulsively without acknowledging the impact that her actions might have on her. Less polite than her sister Elinor she treats her acquaintances in general with inattention and sometimes, contempt, while also misjudging their character. It is after a traumatic event that she begins to seet he error of her ways and trying to change herself for the better.
The other cast of characters (Edward Ferrars, John Willoughby, Colonel Brandon, Mrs Dashwood, Margaret Dashwwod, Sir John Middleton e.t.c.) are equally as interesting and some of them possess contrοversial traits that don’t necessarily make them bad people.
One of the most central themes is the conflict between the opposing temperaments of sense (logic, propriety, and thoughtfulness) and sensibility (emotion, passion, unthinking action), as expressed by Elinor and Marianne respectively.
Women’s role in the late 18th century is also emphasized by the struggles the Dashwood women face to make a decent living as well as their rights regarding inheritance.
Social conventions are shown to have been an important factor in a individual’s choice making and the way others view them.
I read Sense and Sensibility during my last year of junior high school mainly due to curiosity about Jane Austen’s romance novels. It was an intriguing story that disclosed many interesting lessons about love and how one’s view of things leaves an impact on themselves.