Book Review : Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Genre : Classics, Fiction, Romance
Page : 409 pages
Published : 30th October 1811

‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”

Who would have thought I would finally read this popular classics? Sense and Sensibility have been on my TBR list years ago. I start to dig out more about Jane Austen’s works since I read Pride and Prejudice. And so, Sense and Sensibility is my second book of the popular classics author, Jane Austen.

I am excited when I first start reading this book. Sense and Sensibility introduced Mrs. Dashwood and the Dashwood’s lady – Elinor, Marianne and Margaret who lived with their step brother, John Dashwood and his haughty wife who thinks only of herself- Fanny Dashwood. Even in the beginning of the book, it’s stated a detailed story of how the wealthy John Dashwood gets even wealthier when he received more inheritance from deceased family members.

The story focused on the eldest and the second lady of Dashwood – Elinor Dashwood and Marianne Dashwood. Their adventure of love and life started when Dashwood family moved far away from their homeland to the house of their jolly and generous cousin – Sir John Middleton. Elinor has to part with her love interest – Edward Ferrars meanwhile Marianne seems to find her love with the dashing John Willoughby.

Truth to be told, there are a lot to say on each chapters of the book. This book shows the perfect narrative of how flatterer always wins the heart of those egoist people who are thirsty of airy compliment in which made them blinded to actually see the truth and the reason behind the sweet act. Furthermore, Sense and Sensibility perfectly describe how the world, especially people with influence and people who live in poverty seems to choose money and power over love.

Anyhow, those rules do not applied for Dashwood family especially Elinor and Marianne. As the title stated, Elinor is the Sense and Marianne is the Sensibility. Elinor – is always able to act with restrain, judgement and reasoning. Elinor is the kind of lady who would be sensitive of others, behave with manners, act wisely and thinks logically. In my opinion, Elinor also has the heart of gold. Meanwhile, Marianne thinks more of herself. Marianne would also acts impulsive and put others feelings behind. Still, Marianne is a smart lady with her eager personality.

Sense and Sensibility talks about how money and power govern the rules of love. Although Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby seems to gain special place in the book in the terms of “love”, there are also lots of characters that made the story complete and more complex. There are Colonel Brandon who have special interest on Marianne despite the age difference. There are also Mrs. Jennings who takes care of both Dashwood lady when they stayed in London.

Sense and Sensibility tells the story of how Elinor and Marianne loves the man of their choice and the heartbreak that follows after. The hurdles they found in love, how they cope with the unfortunate situation, the journey of how they found and understand the good as well as the bad traits of others. Personally, I admire how Jane Austen manage to put all these important aspects on the book and transform them into a enjoyable story. Money, power, status, friendship and love. It’s so on point even in today’s generation. As much as I love the story, I can’t help but noticed the story progress is quite slow. I understand the slow paragraph is written in order to make readers understand more on the issues and to make readers aware about the characters’ trait.

What makes this book special, is the unusual love line that are rarely found in literally world but easily found in reality. Edward Ferrars – unlike any man out there, is the kind of man you will find pleasing after you know him. He is also not handsome and lack in charisma unlike Willoughby and quite shy in the beginning. However, Edward Ferrars easily attached himself with the people he choose to love. Willoughby has all aspects the lady wished young lad to have. Charming and handsome. Also, Colonel Brandon with his age in thirtieth that shows his maturity and ability to take care the people he loves, but is the kind of man who do not stand out. What I mean is, this book has a real love line that we can relate. It’s not just mere a rich and charming man that ended up being attached to a beautiful inside and outside young maiden. Sense and Sensibility shows us there are no perfect relationship in this world.

Sense and Sensibility indeed goes around romance, but this book will not be the same with the typical romance you read. This romance evolves around family, friends and the couples themselves. To make it even more complex, this book show how the characters live in a world where money, power and status means everything.

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”

Author : Celine

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