Posted by Helen on August 18, 1997 at 06:26:01:
In reply to First Chapter of S&S: Confusing! posted by Lynne on August 17, 1997 at 16:25:56
] I always found the first few paragraphs in the first chapter of S&S a bit confusing: the first time I read it, my head became dizzy while attempting to figure out this inheritance puzzle. I almost stopped then and there! But I went on, and finally became interested in the story, especially after the men started disappearing. Jane Austen does this same trick in "Mansfield Park" at the beginning when she is setting up the marriages of all these sisters: I had to write down all the configurations, etc., to keep it straight. Does JA do this to explain the complexity of family, especially when it is not typical----half sibs are involved or inappropriate marriages? Perhaps that is why these novels are not ranked with her greatest...it is rather a tough chew to get through that first chapter. Do not get me wrong: I liked both books after I passed that point, but with P&P and Emma, one can jump into the story right away. Maybe someone else has an opinion. Great board and thanks much to whomever set it up, etc...
I agree, thanks to whomever it's due! I first checked this board on Sunday evening (British time) and now it's Monday morning and it's full! Obviously you're meeting a need...
On the subject of S&S, though - I think that part of the point of the "confusing" details about the family is that it makes you read to find out what the story's going to be about - the Dashwoods? Norland? John and Fanny? No, it looks like it's the sisters... and they're moving to somewhere else! So by the end of the exposition, not only do you know all the background, but you're dying to know what the point is of all this knowledge - what is Jane Austen going to do with this set-up?
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