Monday, May 7, 2012

Character of the Month - May 2012

How does this sound for a monthly feature, my friends? Now you can be sure of TWO posts every month! For the time being, I'll stick to books, but I may branch out into movies later. You just never know. By the way, spoilers may be included in these posts, so look out. First up...

*drum roll*

Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility

 Elinor has been on my mind a lot since I finished reading the book last month. She's the eldest of the Dashwood sisters, and the most sensible of the lot (get it? She's the "sense" of the equation! probably already knew that). She was unfortunate enough to fall in love with lovable but terribly shy Edward Ferrars, a relative by marriage. Turns out that sister-in-law Fanny doesn't take kindly to her brother getting friendly with the dirt-poor Dashwood girls, and Elinor in particular. As if that wasn't enough--quick! If you haven't read the book, stop reading this post!

Edward is already engaged! Lucy Steele is an unpleasant, simpering, empty-headed, insincere, social-climbing strumpet who only happens to be mildly pretty. It doesn't say much for the young Edward that he's been tied to her for four years, but his heart belongs to Elinor, and his character won't allow him to break his promise to Lucy. And to top it off, Lucy just has to rub it in Elinor's face whenever they meet. (Grrr....)

Elinor, however, never loses her cool. She's probably the strongest and steadiest of Jane Austen's heroines. Her self-control is darn near unshakable, and she can not only endure Lucy's needling, but her in-laws' snubs for being a suspected favorite of Edward's, all while trying to keep the younger Marianne from killing herself with her own sorrow at her own spoiled love affair. She's the rock of the Dashwood girls, and an invaluable friend. Her sense of decency and decorum are rare even in books...most other characters like her tend to come off as Mary Sues. She has her faults, though. She puts more value on reason than feelings, and comes across as a trifle masochistic for putting up with everyone else's baloney when she ought to have told them to stuff it. Then again, you could also turn that around as being to her credit...

Elinor is one of the more deserving of Ms. Austen's characters, in my opinion, and she more than earns her happy ending. I can't say I always agree with her actions, but her moral compass never falters and she never breaks under all the pressure. Let's hear it for her! *applauds*

Your pal,

P.S. How do you think this will work as a monthly thing? Good? Bad? Ugly? Either way, I'll probably end up doing it again...

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