I’ve never admitted that I like to read rambling lines, but I think I do after finishing another round of “S & S”. Austen rambled happily and one character can talk incessantly for half to one page at a time. I didn’t notice this before, probably because I had often jumped forward in previous times. However this time I can enjoy the rambling conversations–women do talk this way whenever they can get a listener and some men do that too. Atwood can ramble too, but her style of rambling is different from Austen’s. Atwood would talk on and on and suddenly a flash of insight can hit me so hard and force me to pause and think. Austen is doing it in a more diffused way with little prickly words or phrases spreading out in each sentence. Since this is the first of Austen’s books, it is not as prominent in the sarcasm as her later books, and also the plot is not as interesting. However the dating life of the two Dashwood sisters are very realistic. Both Elinor’s passivity and Marianne’s intensity are so real that I can find examples among my friends and acquaintances. And Lucy too. Such a character. I feel that I know somebody like Lucy in my own life but I can’t say exactly who she is. And Elinor’s half brother and his wife are such a picture of selfish pettiness that I think I know at least one couple in real life who is exactly like them. I’ve always wondered how they could love each other so much while both being so selfish, but they do. And their children are as happily selfish as they are. I am not too crazy about the author’s attempt at rehabilitating Willoughby towards the end. Of course Marianne’s marrying Colonel Brandon is too ridiculous that I don’t even want to mention it. The characters are definitely more real than those in her other books. I can almost imagine that because it is her first book, she draws the characters from her observation of real people in her life without much embellishment as what she does to characters in later books. In “P & P”, characters are a bit exaggerated and crystallized more.

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