Posted by Kathy F. on June 11, 1997 at 22:54:37:
In reply to Re: Now that we're discussing all the books...my opinion of S&S posted by Lynne on June 11, 1997 at 21:27:32
] I don't know why, but I always make myself read the novel first)
] ] I'd be interested in hearing others' opinions!!!!
] I also read the book about three years ago--the movie had yet to be made. I recall my first impression was that this book was primarily about 2 sisters---one an extrovert (Marianne), the other, introverted (Elinor)---which I thought was a rather simplistic way to characterize people. Then, of course, I felt that JA's sympathies lay primarily with Elinor----that her way of life was really preferable to Marianne's romaniticism. Marianne is almost destroyed by her philiosophies----Elinor suffers, but not to the degree she nearly loses her life. So JA seems to be saying that those who have feelings under control will live long and healthy lives---though isn't the quality of life affected? People who bury their feelings in excessive work or activity appear, to me at least, to be less than human somehow. And end up being treated accordingly. Like yourself, I also think that the male heroines not being very well-defined is a big problem---I never felt either of them very stimulating to my imagination until I saw the movie. Yet, I was in love with Darcy from the first---and Captain Wentworth, Knightley---but never could love the heroes in S&S. Edward seemed too willing to let others run his life (i.e. a wimp) and Colonel Brandon too sullen and reserved and a little obsessive about his lost love (I am not sure I would be happy to marry a man who said I reminded him of a dead lover). But those are just my thoughts and I am glad you introduced this thread about S&S, Barbara---maybe some others will add further insight---I hope so!
Perhaps the book was too involved with two very different girls' love lives. In the other books, there was one definite main girl, and other love stories were in the background. (In P&P, Jane's love life was very important to the story, but it is very obvious that Lizzy's dominates.) S&S might have simply tried to do too much, which JA remedied in her other novels. Also, depending on the chronology of when the novels were written (I think S&S was first), JA might not have had the practice in writing that she had in the other novels. I know she wrote as a teenager, etc., but it's a given that she could always become a more mature writer.
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