Sense and Sensibility is a novel of manners and societal expectations. The story concerns two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood (Elinor representing “sense” and Marianne “sensibility”). Along with their mother and younger sister Margaret, they are left impoverished after the death of their father. The family is forced to move to a country cottage, offered to them by a generous relative. Before the move, Elinor forms an attachment to Edward Ferrars, and after the move, Marianne forms one for John Willoughby. These attachments lead to problems both personally and socially, and they must learn important lessons about themselves before resolutions can occur.
Sense and Sensibility was written by Jane Austen in 1811. It is about two sisters, Elinor and Marianne and their failures and triumphs in love. Made poor by being their father’s second family that had no sons, they move from their home with their mother and younger sister Margaret to the estate of a relative. While Elinor is calm and reserved and pines for one man, Marianne is an emotional and romantic type who throws herself at the first person who impressed her only to find him to be a cad. She ends up with a man who she had previously deemed unworthy, but ended up being perfect for her.
There have been many adaptations of Sense and Sensibility, some in film and some in television. The one I grew up with is the 1995 version starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. There have also been two modernizations of it. One was really stupid where the plot of the story is changed to involve a secret scented lotion recipe entitled Scents and Sensibility (Aside from it being punny I don’t understand the point of tying that abomination to Austen’s classic story), and there was a much better (but not amazing) modernization called From Prada to Nada, which gives Sense and Sensibility a Latina, Angelino twist. I will be discussing the 1995 Sense and Sensibility and From Prada to Nada in this article.
Sense and Sensibility was my first Jane Austen novel, it was also Jane’s first. Perfect no? I read it with a pretty good knowledge of the story since the 1995 movie version was often watched in my house because it is my mother’s favorite Jane Austen novel. Every time I got to a part of the book that they used in the movie, I was able to easily imagine it. I also was surprised by some of Jane Austen’s choices of when to tell and not show. Anyone who has critiqued my attempts at story writing has told me that you should always try to show the reader what is happening. While it didn’t really negatively affect her story when she did that, when I compared it to the film I sometimes (very rarely) felt the movie made better choices.