Did Jane Austen Know Me?

Because I was sick and Veronica had finally finished a stressful round of tests, we rewarded ourselves with the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility. It was excellent and I loved the casting. In the motion picture version of 1995, I loved Hugh Grant as Edward, but I always felt Emma Thompson was too old to play the oldest Dashwood sister, Elinor. I liked the casting of the sisters in the BBC version much better.

As we watched, I was moved by the emotions of Elinor. I felt her sense of responsibility, of decency, and loyalty. I understood her reserved nature and more than once I actually cried as I watched her deal with her disappointments, heartaches and sense of propriety. She had a level head and common sense. Those are good things but they sometimes robbed her of the spontaneity and headstrong-ness of other Jane Austen characters. But I really understood her.

Now I know why. Today I saw a link to a Jane Austen quiz called "Which Jane Austen Character Are You?" I took the quiz and wasn't at all surprised to find that I'm overwhelmingly Elinor Dashwood. I like Elinor enough that I took it as a compliment.

As I read the description of Elinor Dashwood, I was amazed to find the similarities in Elinor and myself, especially when I was closer to the age she is in the movie. Some of those similarities were both good and not necessarily so good. Elinor is responsible and proper. She puts the needs of others above herself. She's a caretaker. She's extremely loyal. Those are all good things, right?

But that wasn't all. She's reserved and doesn't easily share her feelings, often holding them inside. She allows her sense of duty, loyalty and propriety to stand in the way of her own happiness. Are those things good? Maybe in some cases. Maybe not in others. I can think of times in my life when I've kept my thoughts and feelings to myself and then later regretted it. (Of course, I can also think of a few times when I've shared my thoughts and feelings and then wished I'd kept my mouth shut.)

But in most cases, would I have been better off being more open, like Elizabeth for instance? I'm not sure, but I'd be curious to see what it would be like to go through life with almost bull-headed confidence and openness.

I do know that as I get older, I'm trying to be more open and up-front about how I feel and what I think.

Maybe being like Elinor is so deeply ingrained that I'll never really be any different. That's much better than being a Lydia Bennet or a Lady Catherine.


plpamlee@gmail.com said...

very insightful Karey.. I want to see the movie as well..sure hope you can get well real soon

Tawnie J said...

Really, I don't know what to say here other than, I need to watch all these shows. I was young and immature when Sense and Sensibility and Emma and all those good ones came out and I was bored by them. But I think I've grown up and need to watch all of them!

Leslie said...

these movies are the greatest. there needs to be more of them.

i took that quiz once... it said that i am elizabeth bennett. but that was a few years ago, i wonder if i would be different now.

maybe i will take it again...

Leslie said...

wow... i just took another one of those tests... and this time (a few years later and after a lot more of life's blows), i now scored as...

Elinor Dashwood.

strange. and interesting.

Sara said...

Looks like we need another ward movie night to watch Jane Austen!

Lisa said...

years ago i took that quiz and i was also elinor. i just re-took it and i am marianne. not sure how i feel about that...although in reading her description i can kind of see it. i need to see that newer bbc version.

Karey said...

Lisa and Leslie, interesting the changes in who you're most like. I very much liked things about both Elinor and Marianne. I'd take either one as a compliment.

Sara, of course we can have another movie night. The struggle will be figuring out which one want to watch.

And Tawnie, yes, yes, yes, you should give them another try. I'd almost guarantee you'd love them now.