Jane Pierre's Reviews > The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson
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Feb 02, 11

Read in January, 2010

Sense and Sensibility. The very, seemingly simple, title of Jane Austen’s tragic and complex story is about two sisters who must suffer from the sorrowful consequence of love. The title describes the characteristics of the sisters for most of the plot of the story, until the end, where sense is exchanged for sensibility and vice versa. Elinor, the eldest sister, is the personification of sense; she is intelligent, has “coolness of judgment,” has the tendency of being affectionate, and has strong feelings, but knows “how to govern them.” Her sister Marianne is in the same way a quintessence of sensibility. She is not very prudent, amiable, loves the simplicity of nature, and is “eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation.” They have contrasting characteristics and different views of the world, yet Elinor and Marianne find themselves in similar depressing circumstances. These two lovely young girls overcome their obstacles and through the support of family and true friends, love is able to conquer money, selfishness, and ignorance.

Jane Austen did a great job in creating this fictional story and developing characters readers can sympathize and connect with, because of the characters’ similar actions and feelings to us humans. From the introduction, the reader will most likely feel the story will be boring and extremely hard to understand. To some extent, this was true for me, but mostly because the vocabulary was a lot more advanced than my own and because of the many pages and small print; at times the story seemed unbearably long, which made me lose some interest. Other than that, the plot and development of the characters is very interesting. Marianne’s character, in my opinion, is described and spoken of the most, possibly because she is so sensible and extreme in every way, whether it is on poetry, nature, or love. After falling down a hill on a rainy day, she is carried home by the happy, strong, and seemingly perfect guy named Willoughby. Marianne opens her heart to him from the first day they meet and because of this imprudence, she later becomes extremely distraught from being publicly rejected. Elinor is also affected by this and does want to cheer up her sister, but she has her own problems. The one she loves is engaged to be married to a woman who is inferior by education, “fortune and birth” and there does not seem to be any way for her to marry him. Fortunately and ironically at times, things turn out for good for everyone, but Willoughby, who suffers from his mistreatment and selfishness.

I believe the ending was great for Elinor who had gone through a lot in silence, with no one to speak to, and is able to marry Edward. Marianne marries a very benevolent friend of the family and though Austen says that she eventually learns to love her husband with all her heart, I did not feel it was the best way to end things. I am glad that Marianne married, broke out of her depressed state, and gained more sense, but it would have been better if there was more detail in the ending for her, rather than only seven paragraphs. I do recommend "Sense and Sensibility" to those readers who are getting bored with reading cliché love stories, with love at first sight, and want comic relief scenes, twists and turns.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David Ambrose 50/50. Good work. We might read a Jane Austen novel this year. What would you think of that?


Jane Pierre Depending on the book I guess I would like it. I have wanted to read Pride and Prejudice, which I believe was also written by Jane Austen. It seems interesting but like Sense and Sensibility, a challenge.


message 3: by David (new)

David Ambrose Yes, Victorian novels can be pretty challenging. Let's talk about it this week - maybe it will be a good and interesting challenge for your class!


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