Tuesday, April 27, 2010
About ten years ago I remember walking into the apartment only to find my roommate and one of our best friends bawling their eyes out. They were watching "Sense and Sensibility" and it was just about to end. I had not yet acquired my appreciation for movies based on old English novels, or costume/period dramas in general. At the time I thought they were stuffy, boring movies for snobs. I tried really hard not to laugh at them since they were so into the moment, but I am pretty sure I made a smart ass remark or two, probably something about running through a field in the rain.
I had to read the book in one of my classes a few years prior and I was surprised when I did not vomit all over it like I thought I would. I remember our professor pronounced "Elinor" as "Elna". He also said an earlier cover had a brain and a heart on it to drive home the "sense" and "sensibility" message. I will have to dig out my copy and reread it since unfortunately I do not remember much else.
Back then I just wasn't a Jane Austen (or Bronte Sisters) kind of girl. I'm not sure I ever will be, but when the movie came on this weekend I watched it. Something about two unmarried sisters, of opposite temperament and taste, resonated. I was/am totally the Elinor to my sister's Marianne. Older and more reserved with less romantic prospects? Hello!
I used to make fun of these books because I thought they were for snobs but I had it wrong the whole time. Ms. Austen is thoroughly anti-snob. She is representing and fighting for the classy ladies who just happened to be born into the lower classes. Even though I am not a complete romantic sap (yet), I do enjoy watching/reading the feisty heroines as they stand up to their alleged betters and ultimately succeed in their social and romantic situations. I am far from doing justice to her work, and I heartfully apologize for my brash ignorance in years past.
p.s. I did cry a few times.