Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility is a beautiful work of literature that truly comes to life on every page. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of any of Jane Austen’s other works. The main reason I enjoyed this book was because of Austen’s diverse characters; particularly Elinor. Out of all of the characters in the story, I liked her the most, so I will share a few reasons why.
First of all, I admired Elinor’s classy attitude. Throughout the entire story she puts up with several less-than-agreeable people, including members of her own family, but she is always kind and patient with everyone. Also, she entertains bothersome guests without a complaint, keeps up polite conversation when social situations feel awkward, and smooths things over when her free-spirited younger sister, Marianne, is rude. For instance, when Marianne decides to remain silent when a paying a complement is proper, "...upon Elinor...the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it...[falls]. She [does] her best when thus called on, by speaking...with more warmth than she [feels]." (118) No matter difficult the situation, Elinor always manages to maintain a good attitude and cheerful countenance.
In addition to this, I liked Elinor’s good sense. Whenever a situation calls for a major decision, Elinor is the first to be consulted. Her calm and collected nature makes thinking through a problem and finding the best solution a simple task. She uses her gift of wisdom to guide her family through many a difficult time and does her best to present all of her advice in a loving manner. In the opening of the book, she is described as possessing “…a strength of understanding, and a coolness of judgement, which… qualifie[s] her to be the councilor of her mother…” (8) Good sense is one of Elinor’s finest qualities, and it makes her a beautiful addition to the tale.
But best of all, I adored Elinor’s emotional strength. While her mother and two younger sisters feel free to be as openly emotional as they like, Elinor realizes that she must be strong enough to comfort them during times of trouble and keep her own feelings in check, so as to preserve the flow of life in their household. Consequently, she experiences a heaviness because of all the secrets she feels she must carry, but she bravely pushes through and chooses to be strong. She hints at this when Marianne is bewailing her lost love by saying, “Do you call me happy, Marianne? Ah! If you knew!” (176) My favorite of Elinor’s attributes is her power over her emotions, and ability to be strong for her family.
In the end, I think Elinor is a fantastic character and perfected the plot of Sense & Sensibility. She was by far my favorite person from this story, and I could not help but fall in love with her sweetness and gentle nature.
Comment down below & tell me who your favorite Jane Austen character is!! It doesn't have to be from S&S, but if you have a favorite, I'd love to know!
Currently Reading: Emma by Jane Austen
Just Finished: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Listening to: "Bright" by Echosmith