I was musing (that’s right, musing) over the title of Jane Austen’s classic book “Sense and Sensibility.” I began to wonder, why it was named that and what the difference between “sense” and “sensibility” was.
From here my thoughts travelled to another one of Jane Austen’s classics, arguably the most famous one, “Pride and Prejudice.”
The sentence structure of the title was the same, but this one was much more explicit and understandable.
“Pride” is now both a negative and positive word, but in Austen’s time it basically meant someone who was very up themselves, or arrogant. While “Prejudice” means preconceptions and being judgemental.
So if the book was written now it would be called something along the lines of “Up yourself and Stereotypes.”
But with more and more celebrities (even the lovely Leighton Meester) being accused of acting too big for their boots and the noughties named by some the ‘Age of Self Labeling’ you could say this is true.
But then you get Cheryl Cole, who is stunning but finds it embarrassing and doesn’t understand what the hype about her looks is all about, and JH (the other writer of the blog) who is actually impossible to label! Trust me, I spent an hour trying today! I ended up with “you’re just a freak who doesn’t fit in anywhere.”
But okay, I’m going off topic. Back to “Sense and Sensibility.” By this point I had figured the title out. Sense and sensibility are closely linked, but at the same time quite different.
Seeing sense is seeing the right thing to do but being sensible is doing that thing. For example, if I saw someone lying on the ground, unconscious, I would have no idea what to do.
The sensible thing to do would be to find someone who did know what was going on, and while I would understand that (seeing sense) I probably wouldn’t actually be sensible and would instead run over to the person and try to do something myself before even contemplating finding someone else. That’s just the way my brain works.
So I flipped over the book, and read the blurb. The second paragraph of it caught my eye. It goes like this:
“Sense and Sensibility is a delightful comedy of manners in which the sisters Elinor and Marianne represent two qualities. Elinor’s character is one of Augastan detachment, while Mar=riane, a fervent disciple of the Romantic Age, learns to curb her passionate nature in the interests of survival.”
So yes, I am pretty unaware of what half of that is saying. “Augastan detachment” and “a fervent disciple of the Romantic Age” mean nothing to me, but I can make my own judgement.
And while making a judgement two, modern day, characters formed in my head. Although I have read this book, I cannot remember it particularly well and the sort of characters I imagine could be completely off, however along with their characters came, of course, their clothes.
Yes, you were wondering where I was going with this right? I didn’t even know myself, when I started writing it!
But here you go, here is my Elinor and Marianne :
She’s sensible, really. She’s intelligent and seems to be wiser than her years permit. She is almost the opposite of her sister, but at the same time almost the same, and they get on extremely well.
Elinor is stylish, but not fashionable. She always looks great, and to most people she probably seems the better dressed of the two, but she isn’t adventurous. Once you’ve seen one outfit...you’ve seen them all. (Olivia Palermo as model J I adore her!)
So yeah, nothing too exciting here! But you’ve got to admit, she looks well put together (:
And then there’s :
The outgoing one, who isn’t scared to break boundaries. Well, she wasn’t, until recently. Now she’s starting the curb the more passionate side to her character, and it shows the most in the way she dresses. Her bleach blonde hair and quirky take on the seasons trends still manage to set her apart from the crowd slightly, but not in a sort of ‘stop and stare in astonishment’ type of thing she used to have going on.
They have their similarities. They like the sunglasses and the scarves, but they wear them differently. Elinor’s take on them is classy, more put together, and looks better quality. Marianne goes for cheaper looking items worn scruffily, but stylishly. And they like their brogues! Elinor opts for a plain brown pair while Marianne goes for a detailed version.
You can see they are similar, but you can see that they are different. Marianne is sense, Elinor is sensibility.
There’s something for you to think about.