Thursday, September 15, 2011

Annotated Table of Contents: Novels 01

Mansfield Park. Jane Austen. Novel. Example of life at a different time (early 19th century) in a different society (British). Austen tells a good story.

Persuasion. Jane Austen. Note Jane Austen’s humorous observation of the people in her social circle and her keen sense of the place of women in her society. Austen’s impressions of the people around her are delightful.

Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen. Novel. Two sisters with dramatically different personalities. Elinor is cool in crisis, objective, keeps emotion in check, sees and accepts the world as it is. Marianne is emotional, uncontrolled, blows apart in crisis. The two are jilted. How do they handle this disappointing turn in their lives?

Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen. Quite a few people say that Pride and Prejudice is their favorite novel. It begins with a major domestic problem: Mrs. Bennet’s goal is to marry off her five daughters.  Mr. Bennet’s goal is to read his books in peace and to comment wryly on the people he encounters, including his wife and daughters, except for Jane Bennet who is sweet and Elizabeth Bennet who is intelligent and accepts life as it is. Elizabeth is prejudiced toward Darcy whom she perceives as proud (her family is beneath him socially) and arrogant. But he can’t help himself. He loves Elizabeth.

Emma. Jane Austen. Emma is an amateur matchmaker who makes some serious mistakes in judgments about people who want to do what they want to do, not what she wants to direct them to do—and almost loses the love of her life.

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