Tag Archives: Sense & Sensibility

Can moderation keep us happier?

Balance may just be the key!

Balance may just be the key!

Every age has its doctrines: capitalism, individualism, economic rationalism; and it is less uncomfortable to analyse those from the past with the help of hindsight, than those in the present. Spontaneous-and-Sentimental Marianne in Sense and Sensibility is an idealist. Remember she believed in truth and sincerity in all situations. She would not moderate her feelings whether they were pleasant or unpleasant. When she starts to fall in love with Willoughby  Continue reading


Filed under Resilience

What can Eliza in Sense and Sensibility reveal?

English: "She was scarcely able to stand&...

English: “She was scarcely able to stand” – Marianne sprains her ankle and Willoughby comes upon her and rescues her. Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London: George Allen, 1899, page 44. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Initially it may seem hard to reconcile a position of feminism for Jane Austen when all of her heroines end up in love and ultimately married. However, when one looks a little deeper one can see that Austen clearly deconstructs the world of advantage that men inhabit. Remember the very sobering and distressing story of  Decent and Dependable Colonel Brandon’s ward Eliza in Sense and Sensibility’?  Her story illustrates the terrible consequences for women in such an unfair world: Eliza’s mother, also called Eliza, is forced to marry for fortune and was treated cruelly by her husband. Unable to endure her married life she Continue reading

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Filed under Feminism

Climate Change and Social Dislocation,

Blossoming Bougainvillea in a garden

Blossoming Bougainvillea in a garden

What can we do about climate change and social dislocation?  The simple answer is we do not change it. We simply change us. We live the emotionally intelligent way and through that we effect change on a larger scale. We ‘act local but think global’, the brilliant slogan that encapsulated the way to change lives and communities. Why is it that we have problems like the third world shortage of food and the increase in obesity at the same time? Continue reading

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Filed under Living the Simple Life

Actions Speak

English: in ch. 2 of Sense and Sensibility (Ja...

English: in ch. 2 of Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen Novel) Mrs Dashwood asks why was he to ruin himself and their poor little Harry? Français : Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), ch 2 Mrs Dashwood craint que John prive leur fils d’une part de son héritage en aidant financièrement ses soeurs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those that think too much of ‘pewter’ miss out on the warmth that real relationships can bring; the satisfaction that your partner won’t flee when the chips are down and when the real trials of life begin.  Those with superficial values can be bought and seduced by the trappings of position: the overseas post, the expensive dinners and the holidays in exotic locations. Those that can enjoy the fruits but still act ethically towards their families and the people they work with are heroes indeed.

Recall in Sense and Sensibility, the deathbed promise is elicited from Manipulated-and-Mean-Husband-Mr John Dashwood to help his step mother and two half sisters. His father has no power to leave his second wife and three daughters any money. Continue reading

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Filed under Money

Jane would recommend just one true attachment forever and ever wouldn’t she?

English: "To enquire after Marianne was a...

English: “To enquire after Marianne was at first his excuse” – Willoughby comments on his visits to the Dashwood cottage. Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London: George Allen, 1899, page 50. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just in case you might be ready to throw up after last week’s post, here is another facet to the Austen Six that  shows the grittiness of life even it is not central stage. It is true that the Austen Six end with the happy couplings of a series of characters. And of course we expect that these characters will be soul-mates forever. Yet, life was precarious in the 18th century for an innumerable  number of reasons (death by childbirth is just one example); and there were many relationships that did not last the distance. The Austen universe is peopled with characters that have second attachments. And there are many instances where characters must learn to move on. They may have found that the love they had put their faith in has found a better offer.  But Austen shows the value of moving on. The past is a different set of circumstances but there are similarities to today.

 Pining after a lost love can be romantic but Jane often recommends a new attachment. Fed on a diet of Hollywood romances we can place too much emphasis Continue reading

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Filed under Resilience, Romance and Marriage