I do not particularly like this Austen's book and I am going to explain why.
The characters of Marianne and Elinor are perfectly conceived - one one hand we have Elinor's sense and self-command that makes her control emotions and actions towards his family and friends in order to promote their happiness in spite of her own; on the other hand we get acquainted with Marianne's sensibility and poor judgement which bring her a lot of suffering before finally she acquires sense and behaves with sober judgement.
Reason and passion complete each other, but it is not difficult to understand for which of the two characters Austen leans for: Elinor conceals her feeling almost perfectly and is ready to give up her love over the satisfaction of social conventions, showing her strength and balance of character.
The didactic aim of the book is in plain sight: everything is explained and uncovered through the elder sister's consciousness. Since the moral comment is always stated, there is no space for different interpretations.
The story is admirably written, but extremely static in its narration - only the use of irony dwindles this tendency. This is certainly not valid for the characters, in particular for Marianne: towards the end of the novel the difference between the two sisters are eventually removed.
I am perfectly conscious of the main themes of a novel of manners: marriage, complications of love and friendship. The portrait displayed by Austen of the upper/middle class society is rich and satisfactory for her times, but there is something missing, everything is too plain and lame.
Maybe, in the end, I should not have read this book at all....Continua
The first two readings plus Ang Lee's movie didn't make it any less enjoyable.