Sense & Sensibility Readalong, Part The Last

Welcome to the last part of the Advent with Austen Sense & Sensibility Readalong! If you’re new to Advent with Austen and want to read more/sign up to be part of the fun, read this post; if you want the schedule for Sense & Sensibility, read this post!

Part IV took us from chapter 37 to the end.

Having watched the most excellent 1995 adaptation on Sunday, I knew how this was going to end, and was a little perturbed to find differences from the film: on screen, Willoughby is not permitted to confess and redeem himself to Elinor. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this – I found Willoughby on screen (as played by Greg Wise) much easier to tolerate, whereas he is so obviously a flawed character in the book that I didn’t want him to have a chance to worm his way back into the Dashwood hearts.

The slow revelation of everything to do with Lucy and Edward (and eventually Robert) is really clever, and much like Elinor, we are overcome by surprise because it is totally unexpected! And for anyone holding onto a last vestige of hope that Lucy might actually be a nice person, well, thanks for coming along. Similarly, Willoughby turns up to offer his confession when Elinor is anxiously awaiting her mother and Colonel Brandon – it is delivered with aplomb and a skill of revelation that I don’t usually associate with Austen!

Liburuak makes an entirely valid point that everything wraps up rather neatly in this long final part, although I will argue that there is a pleasantly harrowing diversion in Marianne’s sickness (did anyone think she was going to die? This is not, after all, Little Women). Again, the relationship between the sisters really comes to the fore here, with Elinor devastated by the possibility of losing Marianne, not having made the right decision for once in sending for their mother straight away, and for once we see Elinor give full vent to her feelings (as well as the peek at them that we got when she tells Marianne about Edward and Lucy).

Mrs Jennings definitely improves as a character over the course of the book, although I’m not sure what her redemptive event is supposed to have been:

“Mrs Jennings, however, with a kindness of heart which made Elinor really love her”

Somehow, because this is all wrapping up, it doesn’t feel like there’s all that much to say. So I’ve picked out some quotes instead:

“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.”

“Elinor was to be the comforter of others in her own distresses, no less than in theirs”

“Elinor had heard enough, if not to gratify her vanity, and raise her self-importance, to agitate her nerves and fill her mind”

and my particular favourite:

“Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book.”

Now there’s a kindred spirit.

Some of us were thinking of getting Team Elinor t-shirts made up – if you’d be interested, let me know!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the read-along, it has been great fun!

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6 thoughts on “Sense & Sensibility Readalong, Part The Last

  1. Laura 23 December 2011 at 6:33 pm Reply

    Hehe, the Marianne library quote was so my favourite thing :). I definitely didn’t want Willoughby to worm his way back in with the Dashwoods, but at the same time, I think it was needed so that 1) we could be sure that Marianne is totally loveable, and 2) we could be completely sure that Willoughby is going to be miserable forever. So that was kind of great! Here’s my post on the last part if you want to take a look at it 🙂 http://devouringtexts.blogspot.com/2011/12/advent-with-austen-sense-and_23.html

  2. […] At the beginning of December I was in the mood to read a lot of classics and that’s why I decided to participate in Advent with Austen. I didn’t manage to read or watch anything else that is Austen related apart from Sense and Sensibility  (1811). Today is the last day of the readalong. If you would like to read more enthusiastic takes on the book it might be good to visit Reading, fuelled by Tea. […]

  3. Helen 23 December 2011 at 10:09 pm Reply

    Sorry I didn’t have time to participate in all the weekly posts but I’ve still been reading along and loved the book! My final thoughts are here: http://shereadsnovels.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/sense-and-sensibility-by-jane-austen/

    And the final quote you posted was one of my favourites too!

  4. Melanie 24 December 2011 at 2:32 am Reply

    Thank you so much for instigating a delightful month of reading! I love the passage you quoted about libraries and Marianne.

    My final thoughts about Sense and Sensibility and my trip through Austen this month are here:

    http://dearhelendearjohn.blogspot.com/2011/12/advent-with-austen-wrapping-it-up.html

  5. […] Drinking All The Tea? ← Sense & Sensibility Readalong, Part The Last Giveaway – Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman […]

  6. Alex 31 December 2011 at 12:55 am Reply

    It was a neat ending, but I still found it was not all perfectly… Perfect. After, our villans get to be happy, in his own way, and Edward didn’t become the favorite son, ever after his brother doing what he was punished for wanting to do.

    It was a great read-along Yvann, thanks for hosting!

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