Posted by Betsy on June 12, 1997 at 08:14:32:
In reply to Re: Now that we're discussing all the books...my opinion of S&S posted by A-M on June 12, 1997 at 04:17:04
] I reckon S&S does have the emotional depths of other novels... unless you don't regard Marianne's and Mrs Dashwood's sensibility as emotional. Perhaps there are some semantic discussions to be had here....
] I also consider that Elinor's controlled response to the Edmund-engagement-disaster to be emotional, but (as I said earlier) controlled. Elinor Dashwood is similar in her intense, but controlled, emotions to Anne Elliot; without the added agony of so many years waiting.
] I agree that S&S evokes less emotion in the reader than Persuasion but I consider the characters to experience similar levels of emotion. Somehow, when I read the book, I enter into Anne's experience more than I do into Elinor's. Neither story relates to my own life experience, so I can't attribute my reading-experience to empathy. It may have been Austen's more mature writing skills. I wonder if those people with more expertise in analysing language can compare the writing styles of S&S and P?
I think S&S is my fourth favorite JA novel not because it isn't good, but because Emma, P&P, and Persuasion are SO good. I think S&S doesn't have the same ring as the other three is that in this one, the real heros are the women. All the guys in the book are either cads, self absorbed, or come galloping in at the last minute. COL Brandon is the exception but we only get to glimpse him too briefly in too few scenes. The constant and strong character who always does the right thing is Elinor (a role normally filled by a Knightley or a Darcy). Elinor is a favorite character of mine, but she's not enough to lift S&S into the top three. (Then again, top three of JA's novel's is a yardstick, indeed, and doesn't imply that #4 and #5 aren't great!).
I cannot, for the life of me, warm to MP's Fanny at all. I finish MP every time thinking that Edmund shouldn't have married Mary Crawford, but he sure could have held out for more than Fanny. That always leaves MP as my least favorite JA book and the one that I am least likely to re-read at any given time!
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.