I took a break from my normal reading while I was in Florida. I took only two books beside my Bible to read while we were gone (even though I knew I would end up buying more while we were down there). One of them was Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, a true favorite of mine. Many would probably consider this book stiff and boring as it discusses the social interactions of a family in a time where reputation was everything. In my opinion, the book is refreshingly demure. For those of you who have read it, I hope you will understand what I mean. For those who haven’t, I suggest you give it a chance.
In this current society where sex is largely displayed without modesty or restraint and people are unconcerned with the appropriateness of their actions, I enjoy reading about a time when these things were considered important. Every time I read it, I am struck with how much I commiserate with the older sister Elinor, who rules her self with sense. She is careful in showing her feelings to others and considers what effect those feelings will have on others before allowing them to come forward. She is willing to let slights dealt to her by supposed friends and family go to rise above their thoughts and treatment. She holds her own by knowing that what she thinks and knows is true. Others can’t belittle or invoke enough emotion for her to break either her personal resolutions or promises. She is so strong and sure of her good reasoning. To me, she seems to envelop a past time where civility and etiquette took precedence over personal feelings and urges.
Her younger sister, Marianne, who allows her sensibility (or emotions) to rule her, reminds me of current society. No thought of others or propriety. No consideration of ruling one’s emotions. Being mentally and almost physically out of control because she is unwilling to control herself. If only this society could see the benefit of the restraint of the past society, maybe it wouldn’t be in the mess it currently is in.
I would go further into explaining my reasoning, but I’m afraid I would spoil the book. I will say this, however, it is refreshing to have a romantic comedy without the unneeded filthiness. It alludes to scandals without being vulgar and shows the situations properly handled. It also shows the benefits of self-restraint with an interesting contrast between the sisters and how fickle a mind without good reason can be. Well, hopefully I haven’t bored you out of checking the book out. I do hope you read and enjoy it!