I am reading this novel for the first time, I have never seen any film adaptations or stage productions (if there are any) and I am finding I don’t really care for it. Or, rather, I do not care for the characters. I’m not even sure I like the Dashwood sisters.
Ok, I do like Elinor and Marianne to a degree, mainly because the reader is supposed to, generally, like the protagonists, but there is a silliness and vapidness to Marianne that is irritating in the way teenage girls are irritating; and Elinor, I feel like Elinor ought to be more involved. Not a whole lot more involved, but a little more involved in her sister’s life. As a younger sister I am used to my older sisters butting in from time to time, less so now that we are all adults, but if my older sisters suspected I was engaged to be married you can depend upon it: they would be asking questions.
That aside, nearly everyone these young women meet are fairly horribly human beings. I mean, Sir John and Mrs. Jennings mean well, I believe they most certainly do (at this point in my reading); and Captain Brandon is a lovely human being, but everyone else is a right selfish wanktard. Even their half-brother, who sometimes seems torn between his own interests and a duty that borders on affection for his sisters, is a selfish lout married to a self-righteous woman with more elegance than compassion. Quite frankly, this seems to be a novel chock full of characters intent on looking out for #1 with zero regard or notice of anyone else.
They’re not very good at being fake nice, even. It’s quite appalling. Charlotte Bingley may have been a gold-digging, social climbing, bitch, but she was perfectly polite and held her tongue while with company (most of the time). But Mrs. John Dashwood very clearly doesn’t like her husband’s half-sisters and desperately wants to sever any sort of attachment her brother might have to Elinor because Elinor isn’t as elegant (rich, pretty, sophisticated) as Lucy Steele – who is, one could argue, simply trying to hold on to something rightfully hers (even if she is being a jerk to Elinor in the process).
And don’t get me started on the men! So far this novel confirms everything I have said about many exes and other men in my acquaintance and makes me want to advise my nieces to stay as far away from men as humanly possible because they will only cause you heartbreak and pain. Men, young men, especially men in their twenties are not worth your time or your affections. Stay. Away. They are not to be trusted!