Sense and Sensibility Character Review: Edward Ferrars

*Warning: This post contains spoilers in regards to the narrative and characters from the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Read at your own risk if you have not read the book or seen any of the adaptations.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Sense and Sensibility to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

One of the more common narratives that has been used since the beginning of storytelling is the needs and wants of the individual versus the needs and wants of those around the individual. This is the struggle of the character of Edward Ferrars.

Edward is the oldest son from a wealthy family. He is to inherit quite a tidy sum from his mother upon her passing. Both his mother and sister (who is sister in law to Elinor Dashwood) have grand plans for Edward, but Edward wants a quieter life.

The reader meets Edward after Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood when he is invited to Norland, the ancestral estate of the Dashwoods, which has come into John Dashwood’s possession after the death of his father.  Mr. Dashwood’s stepmother and younger half sisters will soon be displaced from Norland and will have to find a new home. But that doesn’t stop a spark from lighting between Elinor and Edward.

The problem with this spark is that it stands in the way of Edward marrying a woman whom they would deem to be a more appropriate wife. After Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters leave Norland, Edward visits them in their new home at Barton cottage, but something about him seems elusive, as if he is hiding something.  Quiet, noble and honorable, Edward has a secret that may forever sever his ties with Elinor and force him to marry a woman for the sake of marriage and not for love.

To sum it up: While some Jane Austen fans have griped about Edward Ferrars, I happen to think that he is one of her most underrated male leads. While he starts off quietly acquiescing to his mother and sister, fate will force him to make a choice between love and duty, between his needs and the needs of those around him.

When a writer chooses this narrative of love vs. duty, their main goal is to create tension and to force the character to ask difficult questions. Without that tension and those difficult questions, it will be hard for the reader to get involved with the narrative and want to stay with the character throughout the story. The key is both the tension and the questions and if done right, the reader will stay glued to the edge of their seat until the final page.


There Have Been 11 School Shooting So Far This Year. It’s Only January 25th

In theory, a school is a safe space. It is a space for learning and molding young minds. It has also become a place of mass murder.

In Kentucky earlier this week, a fifteen year old boy walked into his high school and started shooting at his classmates and teachers. Two students were killed and 18 were injured.

Today is January 25th. We are not even done with the first month of 2018 and there have been 11 school shootings since New Years.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I will, because it has to be done. We need stricter gun laws and we need them now. In fact, we needed them yesterday and we needed nearly twenty years ago when 12 students and one teacher were killed during the Columbine High School massacre. I agree with the second amendment, but we need to face our reality in 2018.

The need of stricter gun laws are a necessity. Unfortunately, the continued loss of life seems to be over the head of some people.

We’ll Meet Again Review

There are two types of people we meet in our lives. One type is a blip on the radar, we don’t think twice when they are gone. The other type is the person who influence in our life is so so ingrained in our psyches that we never forget them.

On Tuesday, PBS aired their new show: We’ll Meet Again. Hosted by veteran journalist and anchor, Ann Curry, the focus of the show is to reunite the subjects with someone whom they have not seen in a very long time.  The subjects of the pilot were two adults whose childhoods were overshadowed by World War II. In California, a young girl of Japanese-American descent is forced into the internment camps with her family simply because her parents immigrated from Japan a generation before. She wants to reunite with the school friend who only saw her friend and did not see color.

A young Jewish boy is living in Shanghai, with his parents. They are refugees from Nazi Germany. He becomes close with his father’s business partner and his business partner’s wife. They have a daughter and emigrate to Australia after the war. He wants to reunite with their daughter, who was a baby at the end of the war.

If nothing else, this show speaks to the our shared humanity. It is also a reminder that friendships and emotional connections can last a lifetime, even when our lives shift and we begin to move away from the people we were once close to.

I recommend it.

We’ll Meet Again airs Tuesday Nights at 8PM on PBS. 

Throwback Thursday-The Impossible (2012)

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami is one of the worst natural disasters in modern history. It is estimated that a quarter of a million lives were lost and 14 countries were devastated by the both the earthquake and tsunami.

In the 2012 film, The Impossible, Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) are a married couple on vacation in Thailand with their children. Then the tsunami hits and the family is torn apart in a futile attempt to outrun the sea. Will the family survive and if they do, will they be intact or mourning the loves ones who did not survive?

While the narrative could have been punched up a bit, knowing that this is based on a true story only adds to the tension and heightens the drama.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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