Anyways. Sense and Sensibility (hereafter known as S&S) was the first book on my list, and thus is the first to be reviewed. Without further ado...
SS was the second Austen book I read, after Emma. I was pretty favorably impressed by it, although it wasn't my favorite; it was too...dry, for my tastes.
On my second reading of it, I enjoyed it much more, and I realized, too, what an unusual story it was for Jane Austen. I mean this in the best way possible, of course, but she doesn't usually write about Deep Dark Stuff and S&S is certainly not a book that you come away from thinking of cute fuzzy teddy bears and sparkly rainbows. :P
Anyways. I read it a third time after that, just a quick read-through, and it became, oh, my third-favorite or so.
So that's the background! This was my fourth read of S&S, I really like it, the end.
...Haha, not. ;P
The first thing that was new for me was the introduction. I don't usually read introductions, because I want to get to the story and all. But I figured that I should probably do a complete reading of the book this time, so I started it from the very beginning.
It was...interesting. Marianne was talked about a lot, and I realized something that somehow had completely slipped by me: namely, that she was really a character from a Melodramatic Novel put in the "real world," as it were. She's still really fleshed out and sympathetic, however, which I think is a great testament to JA's writing, that someone with such romantic ideas could still be real.
With that in mind, I looked at some of her adventures in the book in a whole new light: mainly, her interactions with Colonel Brandon. He's so, well, normal that he seems to be the last person she could ever marry, and yet, she does, because I think that she needs a normal person. She needs someone who's respectable and practical and will moderate her romantic ideas. Willoughby broke her heart, but even if he'd married her, their life wouldn't have been very happy, and I don't think Marianne's character would have improved at all.
Speaking of Colonel Brandon. I think I "got" him this time! Melody, in a post about Mr. Darcy, stated, "Something I’ve noticed about this hero is that you either “get it” or you don’t," and I think the same is true for Colonel Brandon. His character just impressed me this time, by his patience and courtesy when dealing with Mrs. Jennings, &c., and his selfless love for Marianne. I've always kind of written him off as a minor character and thought his marriage to Marianne too sudden at the end, but he was different somehow.
The last thing that really made an impression on me this time was Elinor. Most of you probably know that she's my favorite Austen heroine and I really admire her. However, I found myself seeing more of her flaws, the main one being her excess of "sense". This is probably a reaction to Marianne and her mother's excessive sensibility, but sometimes it seemed to me that Elinor was writing off all romantic ideas and not just the preposterous ones. For example, when Marianne gets sick, Elinor just tells her to get some rest, convinced that it's pretty much in her imagination and not allowing that Marianne may actually be in danger.
So those were my thoughts on my fourth read-through! Again, my apologies for the lateness of this post. :)
-Miss Jane Bennet