"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

[from my online journal today]:
In memory of the all the many heroes--particularly the fallen--who have helped us obtain and keep the freedoms we have, I am posting a few personally meaningful things on this Memorial Day 2009.

A wonderful, patriotism-stirring song I have always loved.

A song I love, but one I hadn't attributed to our military.

Deeper meanings in these 2 songs touched me more than ever before, and I had to include them.

(Lyrics to songs in previous video)
In Dreams
When the cold of Winter comes
Starless night will cover day
In the veiling of the sun
We will walk in bitter rain

But in dreams
(But in dreams)
I can hear your name
And in dreams
(And in dreams)
We will meet again

When the seas and mountains fall
And we come to end of days
In the dark I hear a call
Calling me there
I will go there
And back again

Prayer of the Children, arr. by Kurt Bestor
Can you hear the prayer of the children on bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room?
Empty eyes with no more tears to cry, turning heavenward toward the light.
Crying, “Jesus, help me to see the morning light.
But if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.”

Can you feel the hearts of the children aching for home, for something of their very own?
Reaching hands with nothing to hold on to, but hope for a better day, a better day.
Crying, “Jesus help me to feel the love again.
But if unknown roads lead away from home, give me loving arms, away from harm.”

Can you hear the voice of the children softly pleading for silence in their shattered world?
Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands.
Crying, “Jesus, help me to feel the sun again upon my face.
For when darkness clears I know you're near, bringing peace again.”

Dali cuje te sve djecje molitve?

Can you hear the prayer of the children?

And yet even with the fights fought, and victories won, the biggest battle still rages on.

We cannot lose it. We must not lose it. Fervent prayer for the Savior's aid, and diligence in keeping His commandments, and we can win. Our country still has a chance at remaining free.

Who will help me?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Applying P&P Reflection" Response Paper

I know--I have been terrible this week. But I was busy in my anticipated countdown of getting to see Wicked again. Woohoo!!! It was fantablulous. So as I can't think of much else to write, I'll just include another paper from college days. It was a Response Paper for Literature & Film, which the professor allowed a rather lax attitude in writing. So they're not grandiose--just connections I made with the movies and the books. And being a Janeite at heart, I'm sure, the professor picked P&P as one of our books/movies. In fact, one optional assignment was to read the book while watching the '95 P&P version. Wow. It really is close. But I'll have to say that was the only time I didn't enjoy the movie. Too much pausing and rewinding and no just sitting back and enjoying it. Well, I hope you are able to sit back and enjoy this paper that I wrote concerning the book/movie and the assigned topic.

English 345
July 17, 2003

Pride and Prejudice is a novel about love, marriage, propriety, relationships, and many other themes. An important element of the story is the use of reflection. Through reflection, the characters are able to think through what is occurring around and to them. They come to understand themselves and situations better. From the characters’ experiences and from other things we have read and discussed in class, I came to see the importance of reflection in my own life and how it is a necessary tool.

Webster’s dictionary defines reflection as “a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration” (1107). The act of reflection can be done in many ways. One way that the characters in Pride and Prejudice use to reflect is through letters. Writing back and forth to each other, Elizabeth and Jane communicate what is happening in their lives while they are apart from each other. As they communicate events, their own views and interpretations are realized at the same time that they are conveyed to the recipient.  

Darcy writes to Elizabeth to explain his background and his actions so that she can more fully understand him. He is able to talk of a painful subject because he is writing it. Elizabeth has time to read the letter as often as she wishes and ponder what it says. Because of the letter, she is able to comprehend a bit of Darcy’s past and a lot of his character. But she is also discovers things about herself when she thinks, “How humiliating this discovery!—Yet, how just a humiliation!….I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment, I never knew myself” (Gray 137).  

Movie portrayals of letters are a little more difficult because it is hard to convey on film what one has written. Andrew Davies did an excellent job with Darcy’s epistolary explanation as well as Mrs. Gardiner’s letter near the end of the story. Davies created scenes—some sort of flashbacks—that the letters were dictating. This way the audience could watch what had happened instead of watching the character read a letter, as is done in the BBC 1979 version of the book.

Other moments of reflection in the book take place through the old-fashioned way of simple thinking. Upon reflection, Elizabeth slowly comes to see her thoughts and affections for Darcy change. She eventually realizes that she would accept his proposal if he were to offer again. The movie works around some of these many moments of personal thought by having Elizabeth converse with Jane about her evolving feelings. For instance, one time of reflection leads Elizabeth to feel that she “was now most heartily sorry that she had…been led to make Mr. Darcy acquainted with their fears for her sister” (Gray 202). The movie has her mention this point aloud while talking with Jane and proceeds to have Elizabeth explain herself.
The movie does not detract from the use of reflection by using this tactic, though. Reflection can also take place through conversation. Some people are better able to figure out what they are thinking and feeling by talking it out with another person. Such a person can help the distressed one decipher what is in their head. Jane and Elizabeth do this with each other throughout the book and the movie. Each is able to relieve their pent up emotions and thoughts and understand them logically.  

After recognizing the use of reflection in Pride and Prejudice, I realized that it is something I often do in my life. I knew that my moments of reflection were beneficial and helped me understand myself better. But it never occurred to me that reflection was important to others, too. I especially never thought that I would find it in literature.

Just like in the book, I reflect through writing, thinking, and conversing. My writing comes mostly through my journals. I wrote daily for seven years before college. As I got busier, it was harder for me to find time to write. However, I always felt my thoughts were cooped up and incomprehensible until I was able to express them on paper. I have many journal entries of ideas that wander and flow until they make some sort of coherence and I reach a realization of why or what is going on with me emotionally and mentally. I also express myself through personal letters and e-mails. I come to know myself better because I try to make myself understandable to my correspondents. In my attempts to be clear, I figure out exactly what and why I did certain things that I am telling them about.  

Thinking is one of my favorite past times. I often go on walks to places with beautiful, inspiring views and let my mind go free. It follows all sorts of paths, but it helps me interpret me. My college Book of Mormon professor recommended that we spend at least half an hour a day pondering stuff. That time is a time for one’s self and it helps the person stay in touch with who they are. In class, we were talking a lot about marriage confirmations. We read the article by Elder McConkie and heard students’ personal accounts. I think pondering was a big part of their experiences. I saw that contemplating decisions is not just for marriage alone. It can be for any decision. At present, I am trying to determine whether or not to serve a mission. I have spent two weeks of deep thinking and I foresee many more in the future. The thoughts help me see what my true desires and reasons are. Others’ biased inputs cannot influence me when I sit down with myself and listen to the one that matters most in this decision—me.

Often I find myself upset and I can’t figure out why. It helps to have a friend around with whom I can talk to. Usually I do not say anything profound and I frequently repeat what I’m saying. But I eventually come to understanding why I feel a certain way or why I did a certain thing. My friend’s assistance and similar desire to figure out what is wrong aids my progress to self-discovery. An example of this was a few days ago I started to cry while talking to my roommate. We couldn’t figure out why I was crying. We slowly analyzed what was going on in my life and discussed why and how events might be affecting me. We were able to understand that I was under a lot of stress from school, friends, health problems, and the mission decision. She helped me see what some of the causes were that I was not able to discern.

Reflection, as we learned from Tony Tanner in class, “enables a person to change his version or interpretation of things.” Whether it is through personal writing, correspondence, conversation, or personal time, all reflection can lead to our better understanding ourselves. We can reason out what is occurring and how we perceive it. We can change our views about topics that we did not comprehend as well before but afterwards know better because we have taken the time to think about them. I know that reflection is not just for me. It helps everyone. If a fictional story and my own personal experiences can prove this, then it is worth a try for others who may doubt the importance and vitality of reflection. Without reflection, we will not, as Elizabeth says, truly know ourselves.

Works Cited

Gray, Donald, ed. Pride and Prejudice. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company,

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. New York, NY: Random House,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Persuasion Film Paper

I believe I got a low A on this paper. I didn't realize it was mostly me talking about the reviews I found. Still a couple of insights. But you know what this means, right? Now I have to write a paper that is more about the film!
English 384R

March 6, 2003

Opinions of “Persuasion”

They Thought

            In 1995, the film industry began to reel out adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels.  Among the adaptations was Sony Pictures Classics’ Persuasion.  Six reviews from all over the United States acknowledged wonderful acting from a fairly unknown cast as well as great production designs, film techniques, and story background.  These came out within two months of 1995 in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, USA Today, and the New York Times. 

            The Boston Globe and Houston Chronicle both spoke of the comic performance of Colin Redgrave (Sir Walter Elliot) as the only well-known cast member of the film besides Fiona Shaw (Mrs. Croft).  The New York Times agreed with the Boston Globe’s opinion of Sophie Thompson’s performance as Mary Elliot—the snobby little sister who is overall a good person and “improbably sympathetic” (Carr).  All of the reviews remark on how the entire cast did well in portraying Austen’s satirical, idiomatic, yet true-to-life characters. And all reviews agree that Amanda Root’s debut performance was glorious.  Half of them made the point that Root worked to portray Anne as a strong character, resigned to her unhappy situation, but doing so with grace and without self-pity. 

            A film technique the director, Roger Michell, used was to keep things as natural as possible.  USA Today and the New York Times mentioned how he used naturally lit interiors to have the audience feel that they “were snooping on the early nineteenth century” (Clark).  To add to this effect, the women wore no make-up unless they were pompous characters and meant to look artificial.  The Atlanta Journal and Constitution also stated that Michell added to this real effect by keeping the actors from “the sort of stylization customarily demanded in portrayals of life in this distant a period.”

            In keeping with this real effect, Michell also went for natural settings.  Amanda Root mentioned in her interview with the San Francisco Chronicle that Michell “didn’t want the picture-postcard look.”  The Boston Globe talked about using the effects of a “cramped, bustling cottage” and the New York Times referred to how the characters “walk[ed] by the sea in the translucent sunlight.”  The natural environment gives the feelings of what USA Today called “the genuine item.”

            Each article gave some kind of a description of the storyline.  All of them stated that the story was about a second chance for love.  The Boston Globe and New York Times made the statement that it is an autumn story, referring to this second chance.  And another common analysis of the story was that Persuasion had autobiographical references.  The New York Times said Anne was Austen’s most autobiographical heroine and the Houston Chronicle said the novel itself was more autobiographical than her others.

And I Thought…?

            All six reviews that I found were positive about the film.  While I enjoyed the adaptation myself, I was a bit disappointed with the reviews that I found.  I was hoping to find an article that would contest my views and at least give me another perspective to look at.  The one article that hinted at this was simply a review from a guy on the Internet with no national acclaim.  So I stuck with the six from papers read in well-known cities as well as throughout the country.

            The article in the San Francisco Chronicle did not have as much as I had hoped for.  It was an interview with Amanda Root.  I liked the perspective it gave—from someone who was actually a part of the film.  However, this perspective provided a somewhat biased opinion from an actress who was highly praised for her performance.  There was not too much information about the film’s background and it was only a brief summary of the interview with Root.  She may have said more things about the acting abilities or the storyline, but it was not given in the article.

            USA Today’s review was not very informative because the writer was reviewing another movie besides Persuasion.  In fact, it was a rather short article to begin with.  So with only half of it devoted to talking about the movie I wanted to read about, I should have known that there wouldn’t be too much information.  However, I liked the insight about the natural look of the film because it recognized something that I had noticed myself.  But because USA Today is a prominent national paper, I was disappointed that the review did not have more.

            The Houston Chronicle and Atlanta Journal and Constitution were about the same as far as their amount of insights and what they touched on.  Both commented on the cast’s acting, which is always a debatable subject among audiences.  Both mentioned the little things that mattered, such as gestures or looks that had secondary meanings.  This topic interested me because it is something I like to do when I watch movies.  So I was pleased to read reviews that talked about the subject.

            I felt the two best reviews were from the Boston Globe and New York Times.  Both, like the other reviews, talked about the cast and their abilities.  Both talked of the storyline itself and made some analytical comments of the story and how the film portrayed certain aspects.  One example of this was analyzing Anne Elliot.  It was agreed that she was a strong woman with no self-pity and that the dialogue, screenplay, and Amanda Root did well in eventually getting the audience to see Anne for who she was.

            The New York Times was slightly better that the Boston Globe because it also spoke about the film techniques and natural beauty.  I especially liked the remark about how the camera became “the visual equivalent of Austen’s rich, commenting voice, and though it cannot be a complete replacement, it is a more than serviceable one.”  This remark seemed more intellectual and interesting than the typical comments made by some reviews (e.g. “Thumbs up” and “four stars”).
            I feel that if I had written a review, it would have been similar to the New York Times’ review.  That review touched on topics that I would have mentioned because they weren’t simply saying, “This was a good movie.”  The review also referred to background information that I have been learning in class, so I would have been able to give insights as the New York Times did.  I think some of the reviews could have been more informative.  But I got the feeling that the writers themselves were informed because they knew the story and Austen’s background.  Their insights were much deeper and their reviews became more interesting because of the writers’ knowledge.  This provided a more enjoyable review to read and one that was intellectually uplifting—or at least informative.  My review might not have been written as well, but I believe it would have been as informative with well-selected points to discuss.




Carr, Jay.  “‘Persuasion’ Convinces.”  Boston Globe.  6 Oct. 1995.  15 Feb. 2003.

Clark, Mike.  “Quality Imports in ‘Persuasion,’ ‘Month.’”  USA Today.  13 Oct. 1995. 

15 Feb. 2003.

James, Caryn.  “Austen Tale of Lost Love Refound.”  New York Times.  27 Sep. 1995. 

15 Feb. 2003. 

Millar, Jeff.  “‘Persuasion’ is a Pure Delight.”  Houston Chronicle.  13 Oct. 1995.  15

Feb. 2003. 

Ringel, Eleanor.  “Persuasion.”  Atlanta Journal and Constitution.  10 Nov. 1995.  15 Feb.

Stack, Peter.  “English Actress Asked for Role in Jane Austen Film.”  San Francisco

Chronicle.  11 Oct. 1995.  15 Feb. 2003. 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Best Persuasion Film Adaptation

6 votes

2007 – PBS (Rupert Penry-Jones!) 4 (66%)
1995 – BBC (Ciaran Hinds & Amanda Root) 2 (33%)
1971 – BBC 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
Well, I already said it. Rupert is amazing. But to rush the best part of the entire book, I just can't do it. Plus, I love Amanda Root. And I love how absolutely natural the '95 adaptation is. I think I may have to post my paper that I wrote on that version. Then you would see why I'm so partial to it. But other than that, I thought '07 was done quite well and it was a good contestant.

Best NA Film Adaptation

7 votes

2007 – BBC (JJ Field!) 7 (100%)
1986 – A&E (you must be out of your mind!) 0 (0%)
Other (I don’t think one exists) 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
I have smart friends! WOOHOO for 100% on the best adaptation! Yes, '86 was creepy and weird and just wrong! I still could have done without some of Catherine's dream sequences in '07 because it's painful to be in her imagination. But you cannot beat Henry. Especially as they include 1 of the 2 great dance scenes from the book. Oh, if only they would include the best of the dance scenes though! I do believe they could have added another 1/2 hour to that adaptation and included some of the other parts of the book. Too much fun-ness to not include. Especially those that extol the merits of my Henry. (Hey--it's my blog. I can show my bias as much as I want! hee hee)

One thing I do not understand--why can they never put in how the book was: Catherine's Most Embarrassing Moment with Henry happens well before she is sent away from Northanger. It's the time afterwards when Henry tries to make amends and their friendship remains and increases that I love so much. It makes Henry that much more amazing. Oh well. Maybe someday another version will come out. And though JJ was great, I still long to see my Ioan play the role. He would be excellent!

Best MP Film Adaptation

7 votes

2007 – BBC 4 (47%)
1999 – Miramax (I promise to restrain myself of the many negative things I could say) 3 (42%)
1983 – BBC (w/ the Chariots of Fire/Amazing Grace guy) 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
I'm sorry. I just could not back '99 when it completely changed Fanny. Not that she is an admirable heroine. But she wasn't meant to be either. Do NOT make her into what people believe Austen herself to have been--right down to writing the History of England (which Austen wrote)! Or even write in the Harris Bigg-Wither story of Austen's acceptance of a proposal only to back out of it the next day. No. Fanny was very, very wise and Henry Crawford never appealed to her. She always saw through him. I will say, though, that there are a few things (perhaps 10% of the movie) that I thought were done well. Most of them involving Edmund. The absolutely terrible let's-make-this-movie-PG13 additions that in no way are Austen really upset me. Still, I know they meet their audience.

So, judging by my disgust of '99, you can see why I chose '07. Best so far, though far from being good. It's like Meredith said--they need to make a good adaptation of this book. And none exists, yet.

Best Emma Film Adaptation

7 votes

1996 – Miramax (Gweneth Paltrow) 5 (71%)
1996 – A&E (Kate Beckinsale) 2 (28%)
1972 – BBC (why do they look so old?) 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
Yay--who else voted for Beckinsale with me? It includes the Word Game! And a much more meek, ignorant, and ridiculous Harriet (which is how I always read her). Lovely scenery. A much more understandable and less likeable Emma. Austen's favorite heroine was Emma--and readers were not meant to love everything about her! She was supposed to get on your nerves. Paltrow Emma was just too funny to laugh at that my annoyance was more a roll of the eyes instead of a smack the TV screen. But nothing--not one thing--can beat Jeremy Northam. Oh my. We'll just end it there.

Best P&P Film Adaptation

8 votes

2005 – Focus Features (Matthew MacFayden version…and that one girl) 1 (12%)
2003 – (LDS Version) 0 (0%)
1995 – A&E/BBC (Yeah, Firth) 7 (87%)
1980 – BBC (aka “Board” stiff Mr. Darcy) 0 (0%)
1940 – MGM (Greer Garson!) 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
No. I didn't think the LDS version would get any votes. But I do love it for all its joys.

I love '05 for absolutele everything (scenery, music, adapting to reach a wider audience) except Keira Knightley. And as she plays a significant role in the movie, it unfortunately dragged the overall opinion down.

I'm glad I was enlightened away from the '80 version. But you can't help love that they kept the line in "Save Your Breath to Cool Your Porridge" as it originally was in the book (Lizzie "to" Mr. Darcy instead of '95 version having Lydia say it to Kitty).

The '40 version only good because of Greer. The ending? Yes, SaraLyn--I hate it, too!

I'm happy with the winner. '95 is a wonderful book-to-film adaptation. While I still think the characters are portrayed a bit excessive in their faults (compare to how even the unlikeable characters in '05 still have understandably likeable qualities), they are still quite classic. I've seen this adaptation reach males as well as females. 5 hours really isn't that long. And how can I not vote for the movie that our apartment watched every semester during finals week?

Best S&S Film Adaptation

8 votes

2008 – BBC (part of the Austen series in 2008) 3 (37%)
1995 – Columbia Pictures (Ang Lee/Emma Thompson) 5 (62%)
1981 – BBC 0 (0%)
1971- BBC (TV version) 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)
Never Seen Any 0 (0%)

My Say:
I know so much of my heart belongs to the '95 version for so many reasons. Probably a post in itself. But last week after watching '08 (for my 2nd time), I cannot help but prefer that adaptation just a wink more. If anything for the fact that they 1) include my favorite scene (though vastly edited) from the book and 2) they don't try to make Willoughby out as some tragic hero. He's a promiscuous scalliwag and deserves a miserable fate!

Meredith's S&S Book Club Answers

Ooh, I love this sort of thing! And I can totally justify it as work related. So here we go.

1. My favorite scene is when Marianne finally finds out about the secret Eleanor has been keeping.

2. I just barely read the book for the first time, and it really does seem like Eleanor and Colonel Brandon go together better. As for Marianne, I can't help but think that if she had been older and a little smarter, she could have had both!

3. Ooh, secrets. I don't have the gumption to make a list. But Marianne is totally isolated. She isolates herself, I think in part to further that romantic ideal she has. For her, I think the more drama, the more romance. If that makes sense.

4. Hmm, who is the most sexy? Was it Willoughby? I don't remember. Frankly, I never found any of the S&S guys to be super sexy. I like some of them (Colonel Brandon), but I still didn't really think he was sexy.

5. Those goobers totally deserve each other.

6. In the book, I don't really think he is a hero. This one is all about Eleanor and Marianne for me. He's too passive to be the ideal Austen hero that I always think of.

7. Good question. I never really thought about it. We'll say some random servants. They don't get much to do in these books.

8. Willoughby got way more happiness than he deserved. True, Lucy is kind of mean, but really, I hardly blame her. I'd be bitter against someone I thought my fiance loved more than me. Even if I didn't love him that much. But Willoughby ruined that girl's life, and he never shows any remorse for it. He's sad that he got caught and he's sad he can't be with Marianne, but he doesn't feel bad at all for what he did to poor what's her face. I can't remember her name. Obviously.

9. Heck if I know. I've wondered about the title for years.

10. Probably not. I think Mr. Palmer enjoys having a silly wife. It gives him and excuse to be grumpy, which I'm quite certain he enjoys.

11. Those darn talkative women are all extremely silly. But, to be fair, even Marianne, who's certainly not as loud as some of these other women, is kind of an idiot. Maybe this is totally wrong, but I think this shows why women should have more opportunities for education, employment, etc. If the only thing I had to do was sit around and gossip or do needlework, I think I'd be stupid too.

12. Well, I don't think Marianne would have believed him. But that part still drives me crazy. It's the crazy system of honor and privacy that everyone had back then. Not that those things are necessarily bad, but there's a time and a place, Brandon! That's the kind of thing to speak up about!

My S&S Book Club answers

1. What is your favorite scene or line?

In the book, my favorite scene is when Willoughby comes and explains everything to Elinor. In the Emma Thompson movie, it’s probably a tie between all scenes with Elinor and Edward together. You can just read so much more of what is going on from their facial expressions and even other body language. Plus, their lines are so honest and humble. And who could not want a man to say “My heart has always been, and always will be, yours” to them?

2. Marianne wanted a romantic relationship and got a rational one instead. What do you think of that? Should she be with Col. Brandon, or should Elinor?

Well, I felt that Marianne certainly needed to learn some sense, and her getting a rational relationship helped to show that. But I am also the girl who read S&S twice still thinking Colonel Brandon was intended for Elinor. It’s why I like the movie(s) better, because I can see then that Elinor is better off with Edward. Perhaps I should re-read the book post 17 years of age to see if any wisdom I’ve hopefully accumulated over the years has helped with understanding.

3. Secrets isolate people, and almost everyone in the novel has a secret. Make a list of who they are and what their secret is. How are they each isolated? Is Marianne isolated? How?

Edward – his engagement

Elinor – knowing about the engagement

Willoughby – his being a cad and a blackguard

Col. Brandon – his history (particularly concerning Eliza) and his love for Marianne. However, if you notice these are not things that are completely concealed. Others know or may guess, which is probably one reason why readers may come to know, understand, and love him best. His secrets aren’t secret, and we are able to see inside him and love him more fully.

Marianne is isolated because she isolates herself. Actually, I think that’s what everyone does who has a secret. Not saying that we should all tell every or any one everything we possibly could. Some things may be secret to us if we choose to isolate that particular part of ourselves from others.

4. Who is described as being the most handsome/sexy man in the book? Why do you think it's set up that way?

Oh no--I don’t remember who was described that way!

5. What is your opinion of the Lucy Steele/Robert Ferrars match?
Both odious people—they deserve each other. Besides, it brings down the uppity Robert. And I would never begrudge any female (no matter how conniving) happiness in marriage. Besides, will she truly be happy with him? We know so little of the two together, it is hard to make a judgement call.

6. What is your opinion of Edward as an Austen hero?

I think he certainly holds place for certain women out there. He was young and didn’t think at first. He paid dearly for his impulsive behavior. (I also have a feeling that the scheming Lucy did a good job at not showing all of her true personality to him until she had or thought she had what she could get. Is that not how she was with others?) Yet he is still honorable. And some women like the quieter man who understands them at a deep level without needing to make a big show of things. He seems more realistic, actually.

7. Who do you think the unnamed informant(s) is/are who ruin Willoughby's fun?

I always thought it was Lady Allen. Did I get that from the movie or something?

8. Why does Lucy get a happier ending than Willoughby?

Because Lucy didn’t break someone’s heart, permanently ruin their reputation, and then leave them without caring a hoot about them.

9. Discuss the title. What does Sense mean? What does Sensibility mean? Who embodies those qualities? Do you have one or both of those qualities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

Elinor is sense. She is practical and does everything that she thinks is right, proper, and best. Marianne is sensibility, who does everything that she feels is best—usually for her. I would like to think I have both. There are times my sense of propriety

wins out in many things. But other times my overly sentimental self takes over.

10. Would Mr. Palmer be a better husband if he had a better wife?

I really want to believe so. And not just because Hugh Laurie is cute and plays the part well. I like to believe that he had a lot of potential, and that if he’d had a good wife to support him he would have been happier and more pleasant. I also like to think that (like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre) he was “tricked” by not really knowing who she was until he married her. Women did much in those days to secure a marital position. Perhaps it was one of Austen’s many ways of commenting on that.

11. How are talkative women portrayed in the novel? Think about Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Palmer, Lady Middleton and the Miss Steeles.

It doesn’t seem to be a positive trait, especially if the talkative is idle chatter. Marianne could be considered talkative (in her happy moods), yet I think she had a little more to say. Upbringing, social standing, and “accomplished” all making a difference?

12. Col. Brandon stands back and lets Marianne carry on with Willoughby even though he knows Willoughby's secret. Why would he do that? Have you ever held back and let someone you know make a bad decision?

I thought he at first was only suspicious of Willoughby’s misdeeds. And that when he knew for sure, Marianne was already separated from him. Was that another movie thing? Well, I think he might have been worried what others thought. There was already pushing and pressing and hinting about him and Marianne. With him truly having feelings for her, the last thing he’d want is to look like jealous, mud-slinging rival. Maybe something about his past had him scared? And maybe he felt that she was wise enough to not get in too far. I’m not really sure. Personally, if I have seen something that from my own experience know led a bad decision on my part, I like to let the other person know. But once I’ve told them, I leave them to their decision and consequences.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Less than One Day Left!

Hurry! Have some fun in reflecting on your favorite Austen film adaptations. Then vote for your favorites!!! There is less than 24 hours left to do so!

Also, if you are participating in the Austen Book Club, the virtual "meeting" for the S&S novel is this Thursday. Please join in! 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Joy of Joys!

Oh my goodness! I just experienced one of life's great joys:
I introduced a young girl (and her mother!) to Anne of Green Gables!

They have never read any of Montgomery's books or even seen a movie adaptation. They are as fresh as they can come. And oh my goodness, I do think they will love it! The girl is the same age I was when I first encountered Montgomery via Anne. And we now all see what hopeless romantic self that ended up in! Oh well. Would or could I be me any other way? Besides, Montgomery is always a great start to someday introduce her to....Austen!

(Am I the only one who notices tendencies of Montgomery fans to be Austen fans, too?)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"All I Want in a Man..."

The Austen Hero Poll
(recorded for posterity)
Edward Ferrars 1 (6%)
Colonel Brandon 3 (20%)
Fitzwilliam Darcy 6 (40%)
Charles Bingley 0 (0%)
George Knightley 3 (20%)
Robert Martin 0 (0%)
Edmund Bertram 1 (6%)
Charles Musgrove 0 (0%)
Captain Wentworth 3 (20%)
Charles Heyter 0 (0%)
Henry Tilney 2 (13%)
Mr. Palmer 0 (0%)
James Morland 0 (0%)

19 of the “15” votes

"Have You Seen...?"

Yes. As you see, I've created polls for favorite Austen film adaptations. Only one week to vote on them, and only one vote (on each) allowed this time! Once these results are in, there will be a poll to pick a favorite of the favorites. However, I still most certainly want comments about why you did or didn't like certain adaptations. I thought I would start out with my own very brief comments here. I assure you, I have plenty more I could and likely will say. I've included links to the imdb.com sites for the films. If you know of other adaptations, please inform us!

Sense & Sensibility

Pride & Prejudice

  • 2005 :-) (except for Knightley, of course)
  • 2003 :-)
  • 1995 :-)
  • 1980 :-I (It'd be worse, but it was the first P&P adaptation I ever saw and thought it was great until I saw better)
  • 1940 :-I (Even if it does have Greer Garson)

(Just for fun: here is part of my final in Web Design. Books to film is one of my favorite topics, so I incorporated into the website--Based on the Book--I had to create. How could I leave out something Austen?)


  • 1996 :-) (especially for Knightley, of course)
  • 1996 :-) (loved Beckinsale, a shame about Knightley)
  • 1972 :-(

Mansfield Park

  • 2007 :-I (I may need to see it a 2nd time to know if I fully enjoyed it. It's the best I've seen so far)
  • 1999 :-(
  • 1983 :-I

Northanger Abbey

Persuasion :-)

  • 2007 :-) (He may be gorgeous, but they rushed the absolute best part)
  • 1995 :-) (I wrote a paper on it--how can I not love it as much as I do!?)
  • 1971 :-I

My First Book Club Response!

My friend, fellow church member, and co-worker (Meredith) submitted her Book Club answers the day I sent them out! I figured I'd put up all the answers I get in their own postings on May 14th (or after if I receive them afterwards) so that we can read what everyone has to say and go with our discussions from there. Of course, I've heard that some co-workers have already been discussing quite a bit already. It's terrible that we don't all work in the same department so we can have these great conversations at the same desk. Oh well. At least the electronic world helps make up for the ~50 yards of separation.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Club!

So, friend and follower Author Bee has begun an Austen Book Club. That's a much more organized, steady, and familiar way to fulfill the premise of this blog. Still, she has invited me to participate even though I'm on the other side of the country. And I'm so excited! (Especially as I've never been able to be part of a book club before.)

They're currently discussing Sense and Sensibility. She sent me the questions today, which I enjoyed answering and felt I would post them here. However, I will not post the answers until her actual meeting (May 14th). Today I will just post the questions. Maybe it can spark a little discussing of our own?

(Is anyone else even out there?)

I would love to hear what others think and feel. Sorry that I haven't been too steady with any posting. It's been a busy time with various things. Perhaps of an evening I will try to plan out a bit more this blog. Until then, if there are any other readers, I hope you have enjoyed it so far and will participate in my upcoming endeavors of connecting with fellow Janeites.

The S&S questions:

1. What is your favorite scene or line?
2. Marianne wanted a romantic relationship and got a rational one instead. What do you think of that? Should she be with Col. Brandon, or should Elinor?
3. Secrets isolate people, and almost everyone in the novel has a secret. Make a list of who they are and what their secret is. How are they each isolated? Is Marianne isolated? How?
4. Who is described as being the most handsome/sexy man in the book? Why do you think it's set up that way?
5. What is your opinion of the Lucy Steele/Robert Ferrars match?
6. What is your opinion of Edward as an Austen hero?
7. Who do you think the unnamed informant(s) is/are who ruin Willoughby's fun?
8. Why does Lucy get a happier ending than Willoughby?
9. Discuss the title. What does Sense mean? What does Sensibility mean? Who embodies those qualities? Do you have one or both of those qualities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
10. Would Mr. Palmer be a better husband if he had a better wife?
11. How are talkative women portrayed in the novel? Think about Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Palmer, Lady Middleton and the Miss Steeles.
12. Col. Brandon stands back and lets Marianne carry on with Willoughby even though he knows Willoughby's secret. Why would he do that? Have you ever held back and let someone you know make a bad decision?