Friday, September 29, 2006

Sense and Sensibility Sketches

Fanny Austen-Knight (1793-1882) by Cassandra Austen
Fanny Austen-Knight (1793-1882)

My appetite being now thoroughly whetted for a long trip to England or at the very least a viewing of Pride and Prejudice (the five hour Jennifer Ehle version), I thought I'd share some Sense and Sensibility character sketches from my journal this spring:

Colonel Brandon fell instantly in love with Marianne. But he was not going to pursue her because he thought it would be better for her to marry someone nearer her age. So he sought to be only a blessing to her. He had been a bachelor settled and content, so practiced at supressing his heart that he hardly cares. Only the deepest (most selfless) love will induce him to matrimony.

Elinor is a steady girl, aware of reality yet unable to fully reconcile herself to it. She is a woman of her word ever self-less. However, she is not so strong as to be able to bear sorrow cheerfully.

Marianne cares only for the dramatic and romantic, embracing both ecstasy and despair equally. She says what she thinks, and behaves as she feels. It does not bother her that a man should take liberties with her without commitment. The amazing thing about her is her recovery. She settles into a love that is calmer but runs deeper, and so it brings her deep joy.

Edward is a man of mistakes and self-deception. His love is self-giving, but certainly not self-controlled. He is also a man of duty, though it torment him, he could still, I believe, have been happy marrying his first love. He is conflicted much of the time: between keeping his vow to Lucy and his regard for Elinor, between obligation to his family's expectations and his dreams.

Mr. Willoughby is a tragic, horribly appealing villain. He does have great self-control, but that leaves him without excuse for his conduct. He is always selfish, and irreverent. He enjoys romance as Marianne does, but he does not live (and die) for it. He is uniquely able to give away his heart completely separate from his intentions and choices. That this causes him pain - anguish - is his sacrifice to the ideals of romance.

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken." - Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

To God be all glory.


Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

You sound like my sister. :-P

Are you acquainted with the Republic of Pemberley forums?

Lisa of Longbourn said...

dr. paleo, ph.d.,
I have often encountered the Republic of Pemberley in my quests for material for use in invitations, and just for satisfying curiosity. But I don't do a lot of forums. And I can't be a regular at Pemberley. There are so many other sites claiming my attention!
To God be all glory.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Ah yes, that is too true! What, with VF, LAF, Mantle Minstries...there's lots to do!