"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

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We have arrived in England.

It's time!! I actually read the book this time around. I know. I'm shameless and for the last year and a half have picked books that I knew well enough I wouldn't have to re-read. But I was determined this time. And I did. Huge "Complete Works" book and all! I also had friends over to watch the 2008 film version. So, here are the questions. I collected them from a few online sources, too lazy or brain-numb to come up with my own. Feel free to add whatever you would like to discuss! Or gush over. :-)

By the way when I answer, I'll be referring to the book as well as the 4 film versions I have seen.

1. The Dashwood women discuss Edward Ferrars for many pages before the reader actually meets him in a dramatic scene. Why do you think Austen chose to create the whole Elinor/Edward love affair "off stage"?

2. Elinor and Marianne's younger sister Margaret plays a very minor role in the novel. Why do you think Austen included this character? Does she further any of the plot? Does she shed light on any of the other characters?

3. Before he abandons Marianne, is John Willoughby a likeable character? Does Austen give any indication early on that he is not as he appears?

4. 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." Why is it delightful to spend time reading about a character who would be tedious in person?

5. What did you think of the dueling scene?

6. "One's happiness must in some measure be always at the mercy of chance," the narrator says at one point. What role does chance play in the fates of the main characters?

7. Elinor considers Lucy's marriage to Robert Ferrars as "extraordinary and unaccountable," "completely a puzzle." Is it completely a puzzle to you as well?

8. Why doesn't Colonel Brandon fall in love with Elinor?

9. Why does Lucy get to be happier than Willoughby?

10. "Wealth has much to do with...happiness," Elinor states at one point. "Elinor, for shame!" says Marianne. "Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it." What is the relationship between love and money in Sense and Sensibility? Is it different for different characters? Has the relationship between love and money changed in today's world?

11. What do you think this story would have been like if it has been through Marianne’s eyes?

12. Do you find Marianne's decision to marry Colonel Brandon to be a plausible conclusion? Why or why not?

13. Although it ends with the marriages of the two main female characters, some readers have claimed that of all of Austen's novels, Sense and Sensibility has the saddest ending. Do you agree with this statement?

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