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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sense & Sensibility Read Along Discussion Questions, part 2

And now we're down to the end of this year's AIA, it's time to get out our final thoughts on this year's read-along of Sense & Sensibility!
But first, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read along (whether you chimed in on discussions or not!), hopped on Twitter for our Watch Along, or contributed & commented on any of the amazing S&S posts this year (and there were some damn good ones!)

If you missed part one of the discussion questions, you can find those here, but now, on to our final Qs of this year!

The Qs:
  • What do you make of the title, and how it relates to the main characters? Do you find yourself siding more with Elinor's example of "sense" and rationality, or Marianne's "sensibility" and Romanticism? Do you think Austen set out to make one or the other more sympathetic, or a better model for how to be? Some have suggested that Austen intended to strongly favor one aspect, but as the book went on, found herself favoring more of a blending of the two; would you agree?
  • The second half of the book sees a lot of shake-ups for the Dashwood girls: Marianne has her whole world crash down in her disappointment over Willoughby, and Elinor has not only discovered that the man she loves is secretly engaged to another, but she's continually forced to spend time with that other woman AND be drawn into her condfidence! There's a lot here to discuss, so pick apart at will — what do you make of all the dramz? The eventual resolution? The characters' choices and treatment of each other? Etc.
  • Do you find the resolutions of the various storylines satisfying? (ie Elinor w/ Edward, Marianne w/ Brandon, Lucy Steele w/ Robert Ferrars, Edward disinherited, etc.) Is there anything in the resolution that you found off-putting? Confusing? Personally dissatisfying?
  • In many of our AIA discussions (and across forums and Janeite discussions everywhere, since its publication), it's been suggested that Elinor seems a better match for Col. Brandon than Marianne. Would you agree? Are you surprised that he seemed to essentially ignore Elinor as an option, and instead fixate on Marianne, to the point that everyone around them knew of his fixation? 
  • And following up to that, do you think Marianne settled for Brandon? Do you find her grown and matured at the end of the novel, or more broken? Do you think it likely she and Brandon will be happy together? Elinor and Edward?
  • Do you have any favorite moments or characters that you'd like to discuss? Quotes you'd like to share?
  • Now that you've read the book, what are your overall opinions on it. Like it / hate it / indifferent?  If you've read other works by Austen, where would you rank it in terms of its actual merit and your own personal reaction to it?
  • Any final thoughts you want to share?

Return to the Austen in August Main Page by clicking here for more Janeite goodies!

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