Skip to main content

Posts

For Wednesday: Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 40-46

Remember, there are no more questions for groups to answer (your in-class writing last time satisfied that requirement). Instead, we'll examine a specific passage in class on Wednesday to get us started, so be sure to read up to or close to Chapter 46. Pay close attention to the chapter between Willougby and Elinor. Very interesting stuff here! :)
Recent posts

For Monday: Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 28-39 (or Vol.3, Chapter 3)

Keep reading and try to race through the next 100 pages or so. I won't give you any questions for Thanksgiving Break, but instead, we'll have an in-class writing based on these chapters when you come back to class (so don't worry about the questions for your group--these will count for whatever groups haven't gone yet). 

Enjoy the break!

For Monday: Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 20-27 (or to Vol. 2, Chapter 5)

The "Chaucer" group should answer two of the following:

Q1: In sizing up her rival, Elinor judges Lucy Steele as “naturally clever...but her powers had received no aid from education, she was ignorant and illiterate” (122). Is this the sour grapes of thwarted hopes, or does Lucy Steele represent the eighteenth-century woman without sense or sensibility? What “clues” does Elinor unearth to support her reading of Lucy?
Q2: How does Colonel Brandon emerge as a character of sensibility in these chapters?How is Austen trying to make him more appealing to us as a possible romantic interest for Marianne (or for Elinor?), and why can’t Marianne appreciate this? Has love simply blinded her to the attractions of other men, or does it point to a greater flaw in her character?
Q3: In William Deresiewicz’s book, A Jane Austen Education, he writes, “For Austen, before you can fall in love with someone else, you have to come to know yourself.In other words, you have to grow up.Love isn’t g…

Exam #2: Creative License

Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 13-19

The "Anonymous" group should answer two of the following:

Q1:How does Austen critique and satirize the state of marriage, whether in actual married couples (ex: Mr. & Mrs. Palmer) or in young women striving to become married themselves (ex: Lucy Steele, in later chapters)?As an unmarried woman of a somewhat Romantic bent, what fears and biases about the union does Austen seem to have?

Q2: In Chapter 16, Marianne rhapsodizes about the natural world, including the sublimity of autumn. Elinor archly responds, "It is not every one...who has your passion for dead leaves." Marianna responds, "No; my feelings are not often shared, nor often understood. But sometimes they are" (87). Do you think the narrator is continuing to mock Marianne's pretensions here--in other words, is she too full of sensibility? Or is Elinor simply too inclined to have her grow up? 

Q3: Related somewhat to the above, how does Marianne misread her sister throughout the book (so far)…

For Wednedsay: Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1-12

The "Austen" group should answer two of the following:
Q1: How does the opening chapters dramatize the late eighteenth-century debate of sense vs. sensibility—or reason vs. emotion?  What view does Austen (or the narrator) seem to take on the subject?  Cite a specific passage in support of your reading.
Q2: Read Chapter 2 carefully: what is Mrs. John Dashwood trying to convince her husband to see about their financial situation? Why does he let himself be convinced against his father’s wishes? Why does the language—and the sentiments—of this chapter sound like an echo of The School for Scandal?
Q3: Unlike many conventional romances or novels, Austen’s men are rarely romanticized—and never bare-chested hunks. In describing Edward Ferrars, she writes, “[he] was not recommended to their good opinion by any particular graces of person or address.  He was not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing” (17).  Why would she risk making Elinor’s love interest—…

For Wednesday: Sheridan, The School for Scandal, Acts 3 & 4