Jane Austen discussion

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Sense & Sensi. (2008 Discussion) > Is it fun to read about a character who would be tedious in person (like Mrs. Jennings)? Why?

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather (pheather) A turn of the century review describes Mrs. Jennings as a character it is "equally delightful to have met on paper and not to have met in the flesh."



message 2: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hickman (bkread2) | 32 comments you know I actually liked her in the book, better than the movie!! She adds a lot of character and makes the story all that much more believable. We ALL know a Mrs. Jennings in our lifetimes. Some just more personally than others. My Mother has a friend that is just like her!! You are entertained all the time just listening to her talk!


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 20 comments I think the novel really needs Mrs. Jennings so it doesn't become too sad. Elinor is suffering because she must be the confidante of the girl engaged to the man she loves. Marianne is suffering because the man she loves jilted her. Their mother has been kicked out of their home because of their selfish half-brother. Without Mrs. Jennings and the other silly characters with their obnoxious remarks and actions...the book would be depressing and not Jane Austen!


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary Powell  | 3 comments Mrs Jennings, bless her heart, was one of those well wishing women who see what they want to see even if it's not there. Her silliness was an added relief to the heaviness of the story like Kathleen wrote (I think Sir John Middleton adds a distraction as well.)


message 5: by Shayne (new)

Shayne | 49 comments 'A character it is "equally delightful to have met on paper and not to have met in the flesh."'

I thoroughly agree! Mrs Jennings is a kind, well-meaning character who's delightful to read about, but who would be quite maddening if she decided to take one under her wing in real life. In a book (or on screen) she's at a safe distance, as her attention isn't turned on me, and if she ever did get too much to cope with even as a fictional character I can always close the book for a time.

Jane does her comic characters very well, keeping them this side of caricature.


message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie If everyone were the perfect person the books would be tedious. I wouldn't want to ever read anything. You have to have contrast or it becomes a biography, no joking.


message 7: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments Absolutely, it is great fun to read about people who would be annoying in real life! In fact, sometimes the book-folk remind me of people from real life (sigh!) and this provies a great deal of comic relief and perspective! ;-p


message 8: by Katie (new)

Katie I love comic relief!


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann | 69 comments Haha, great point Kathryn!
Yes, I too think that reading about annoying characters is typically quite delightful!:D (provided they are *supposed* to be annoying lol!)


message 10: by Hope (new)

 Hope | 35 comments I think it depends, if they are always optimistic and always talking, I would be fine with knowing them. It's when they talk constantly and are always complaining or telling you the sad things of the world that I wouldn't want to be around them much. But because I like listening to others talk more than myself a lot of times, if they were optimistic I think I would enjoy them.


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