A Tale of Two Sisters…or Three :-)

Elinor: I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him – that I greatly esteem him… I like him. 
Marianne: Esteem him? Like him? Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant. 

No two sisters could be quite as unlike, and yet so close, as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.  Elinor, the older sister, governs herself with sense and wisdom, always practical and not allowing her emotions to run away with her.  Marianne, on the other hand, feels deeply and passionately and lets others know it.  Their approaches to life vary greatly: after the death of their father at the beginning of the story, Marianne spends much time weeping and playing mournful songs on the pianoforte, while Elinor rallies herself to help her family find a new home.  Their approaches to romance differ very greatly too: Elinor keeps her heart and waits patiently and does not share her emotional struggles with others, while Marianne wears her heart on her sleeve; when she falls in love, she falls totally in.  When someone steps in and destroys Elinor’s hope of love and marriage, Elinor hides her emotions from others and keeps her promise to Lucy to remain silent (reminding me of the verse in Psalms that speaks of the righteous person who “swears to [her] own her and does not change”); Marianne, on the other hand, when her romance is suddenly shattered, weeps night and day and even risks her health by walking out in the rain to see the house that would have one day been her own.

The following dialogues, in separate scenes of the movie, illustrate the girls’ very different outlooks on and responses to matters of love:

Mrs. Dashwood: You must miss him Elinor.
Elinor Dashwood: We are not engaged Mamma.
Mrs. Dashwood: But he loves you dearest, of that I am sure.
Elinor Dashwood: I am by no means assured of his regard and even were he to feel such a preference I think we should both be very foolish to assume that there would not be many obstacles to his marrying a woman of no rank who cannot afford to buy sugar.
Mrs. Dashwood: But Elinor, your heart must tell you…
Elinor Dashwood: In such a case it is perhaps better to use one’s head.

Mrs. Dashwood: Why so grave? You disapprove her choice?
Marianne: By no means. Edward is very amiable.
Mrs. Dashwood: Amiable? But?
Marianne: There is something wanting. He’s too sedate. His reading last night…
Mrs. Dashwood: Elinor has not your feelings. His reserve suits her.
Marianne: Can he love her? Can the soul be really be satisfied with such polite affections? To love is to burn – to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Eloise…
Mrs. Dashwood: They made rather pathetic ends, dear.
Marianne: Pathetic? To die for love? How can you say so? What could be more glorious?
Mrs. Dashwood: I think that would be taking your romantic sensibilities a little far.

While the sisters think and feel so differently, they remain close friends and are a beautiful picture of what sisters can be to each other.  In the 2008 BBC miniseries of Sense and Sensibility, we see the sisters talking quite frequently– conversing about their family, about Marianne’s love interests, about life in general, enjoying each other’s company.  Elinor is bold yet loving when she confronts Marianne about her behavior, and Marianne stands by Elinor even when she can’t understand her and says, “Let me hope for you.”  They stand up for each other and encourage each other and wish the best for each other.  There are times when their relationship hits bumps in the road– Marianne sometimes, without realizing it, says things in the height of her emotion that hurt Elinor– and yet they stay together, and their love for each other is sweet to watch.   And in the end, we see Marianne turn to Elinor and say, “I compare [my behavior] with what it ought to have been.  I compare it with yours.”

I love Sense and Sensibility, partly because it is such a beautiful story, mainly because the Dashwood sisters remind me so much of my own family, and the circumstances related are so REAL.  I do not know how Jane Austen managed to make her characters and story events so true to life, so applicable to us today, but somehow she did.

We have often joked around and called my older sister Marianne because she is so very like Marianne Dashwood.  At the same time, she and I are actually an even mix between Elinor and Marianne– she is more romantic than I, and I tend to be very reserved and slow to “fall in love”, but she has more of Elinor’s “oldest-sister sense” (careful consideration of economy, for instance) while I bear the most shocking resemblance to Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Marianne, in the many “second-child” mannerisms that weren’t necessarily portrayed in the book or by Charity Wakefield (think: Marianne and Margaret bickering in the carriage on the way home from Sir John’s, dropping her silverware in exasperation  at Fanny, rolling her eyes at Mrs. Jennings’ fascination with Mr. “F”, etc.)  My sister shares Marianne’s passion for music, and I share Elinor’s love for art.  She is more “hot-headed”, likes to be unconventional (a mild example would be not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day :-))  and unafraid of what people think, while I am more reserved, and perhaps too concerned about convention and what people think.  We also are very close like the Dashwood sisters, and share many enjoyable chats about our lives, our hobbies, our love interests…We are very different from each other, like Elinor and Marianne, and yet we listen to each other and learn from each other.

And let us not forget Margaret.  I imagine that as Margaret grew older and as her mind matured, she probably grew to be as close friends with her sisters as they were with each other.  We coined our younger sister “Margaret” years ago because she resembled her to the T– picture Margaret, in the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, poking around in the swamp for creatures, playing swordfighting with Edward, calling through the halls, “Please don’t say anything important!” “Wait for me!!”  In the last year or two, our “Margaret” has matured a lot and we have come to include her in more of our sisterly chats and activities, and she is a little to big to be Margaret now in any of our movie scene re-makes, but she is still… “Margaret”. 🙂  I am confident that when Margaret Dashwood was our “Margaret’s” age, she must have been very like her indeed.  And she is every bit as much as part of the sisterhood as Elinor and Marianne. 🙂

Jane Austen hit the nail on the head when she crafted the characters of Sense and Sensibility, especially the Dashwood sisters.  A mix of sense and of sensibility, of reserve and of emotion; balancing each other; sticking together in difficult times and being there for one another; learning from each other and helping each other. In the words of that one song, “All kinds of weather, we stick together; the same in the rain and sun…” This is sisterhood.

Our “Dashwood” Family: Elinor, Marianne, Mamma, Margaret 🙂

"The Gregory Situation" ~ A Scene from Disney’s "That Darn Cat"

This is the second movie scene re-make the my sisters and I did.  The shots in Ingrid’s room and the shots in Patti’s room were filmed about two months apart from each other, hence the reason why my hair is longer in the Patti’s room scenes.  
That was Kitty’s fault.  She would NOT cooperate for us the first time (she was supposed to be drinking milk out of a bowl, but she hates the camera and wouldn’t do it for us, and I think she got up and ran out of the room.)  So finally one evening we decide to film those shots as “sneakily” as possible without making Kitty think she was on film.  We just had her lounging on the bed (which she likes to do anyway 🙂 ) and she handled it just fine.  And it turned out great.
Oh, and, NO COMMENTS ABOUT ME DOING MY HAIR, PLEASE!!  I know I’m not doing that right; remember, this was just for fun and we got a good laugh out of me pretending to do that.  Okay, so remember– no comments about my hair. 🙂

"Just What a Young Man Ought to Be"

We “Dashwood Sisters” love re-making movie scenes. Some of our favorites have been from That Darn Cat (the original, with Hayley Mills) and the Jane Austens. This one is from the ’95 Pride & Prejudice. We also have another from that version, and one from the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma that we can share if you really, really want us to. 😀 (They were earlier ones though, and not as well done.)
DON’T expect professional filming and acting, or accurate accents and costumes. This was just for FUN. 🙂

(I reloaded this a couple times in an attempt to make it not so fuzzy and pixelized. Hopefully this will be okay. *crosses fingers* If not, maybe I’ll load it to YouTube.)

Please respect property rights… because this was just a family fun goofy thing, we request that you do not repost it without permission.

2010 Jane Austen Tour

I don’t know how, but somehow I failed to realize that Feelin’ Feminine’s “2010 Jane Austen Tour” began two days ago!  (Oops)  At least this one is lasting through August 3rd, and there is plenty of time to participate. 
I am planning on participating in several of the categories and hope you will too!  Most of them, however, will probably have to wait until next week, as this week I am busy getting ready for my graduation open house.

While I’m doing that though, I will start uploading a very fun video for the second category!!  Hee hee hee!!  Okay, so I’ll upload two… or three??  Okay, well, you don’t even know what kind of videos I’m going to be uploading yet, and I sha’n’t tell you, except that it’s for the Jane Austen Tour.

I also plan on posting pictures of my latest sewing project too. 🙂

Anne of Green Gables Fashion Week: Day 5

Today for Bramblewood Fashion’s Anne of Green Gables Fashion Event I am posting pictures of the 1914 Afternoon dress (available for purchase here) that was made for me two years ago. (Correct – I did not make it. :P)
The skirt of the dress was made from eyelet, which was actually pretty nice. The sash was actually from a bridesmaid’s dress from my parents’ wedding.
Back view
Anne might have worn a dress like this sometime between Anne of Avonlea (the movie) and The Continuing Story. (I’m not sure what the dates are in the books, because the only one of the books I have read is the first one. :S My bad.)
This picture makes me think of in the movie when Anne meets Diana’s baby Fred. 🙂

“At first I wanted a girl, so I could call her Anne; but now I wouldn’t trade baby Fred for a million girls!”

Anne of Green Gables Fashion Week: Day 4

Today I’m just posting pictures of my favorite of Anne’s outfits – the Brown Vest Outfit.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the watch she has pinned to the vest, and the hat just fits so well over her hair…(You know, I should just do a post on Anne’s hair… :P)
The dramatic pose that reminds me of me.
And of course, Anne with Gilbert; in this picture, she isn’t wearing the vest (obviously). I am going to get a picture like this when I get engaged – I mean, honestly! It’s cute, and would be even cuter if my fiance and I could wear similar clothes to the ones Anne and Gilbert are wearing here. *goofy smile*
Elinor has offered to make me this outfit if I buy all the fabric. So…I need to buy the fabric…I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Don’t worry – you’ll find out when I have. 😛

Click here to read a more exhaustive post by Ashley on Anne’s clothing.