Daily Archives: February 22, 2018

Sense And Sensibility Character Review: Lucy Steele

*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.

Any writer worth their salt will tell you that conflict is one of the key components of any story, regardless of genre to or specific narrative. When written well, conflict is what keeps the reader/audience engaged. In the romance genre, conflict usually comes by way of something or someone who is keeping the would be lovers apart.

In Sense And Sensibility, that someone is Lucy Steele. The would be lovers she is keeping apart is Edward Ferrars and Elinor Dashwood. Lucy is introduced to Elinor and the audience about a third of the way into the story. Lucy is one of two sisters, who is related to the distant cousin who is leasing the Dashwoods a cottage on his property after the death of their father and husband.

Lucy has a secret and Elinor is the one she chooses to share her secret with. Lucy is secretly engaged. Her future husband is Edward Ferrars, a former pupil of her uncle. The engagement is a secret because of the status of Edward’s family. While Lucy tells Elinor of her secret engagement, only Elinor and the reader/audience is aware of the spark between Elinor and Edward.

To sum it up: In using Lucy to create a wedge between Edward and Elinor, Austen is upping the ante on the reader/audience. She is keeping them on the edge of the seat and not (at least yet anyway), answering the will they or won’t they question when it comes to Elinor and Edward. A good writer knows when and where to introduce conflict and if written properly, the conflict will keep the reader/audience going to the very end.

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Filed under Books, Character Review, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday-Songcatcher (2000)

Sometimes in life, when we are denied opportunities via a conventional manner, we must create opportunities in an unconventional manner.

The late Shirley Chisholm summed it up best:

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

In the 2000 movie, Songcatcher, Professor Lily Penleric, PhD (Janet McTeer) is denied a promotion at the school where she teaches. Feeling like she has to get away for a while, Lily visits her sister, Eleanor Penleric (Jane Adams) who runs a rural school in Appalachia. There she makes a discovery that could take her career to a new level: ancient Irish-Scottish ballads that have been handed down from parent to child over the generations. Because the community is isolated, the songs have remained untouched and unknown by the outside world.

While Lily starts to collect the songs and use them as a mean to secure the previously turned down promotion, she starts to appreciate not just the land, but the people who call the area home. She also meets Tom Bledsoe (Aidan Quinn), a local war hero and musician who challenges Lily on her reasons for wanting to share the music with the world.

This movie is one of those movies that is underappreciated from my perspective. It’s not a huge spectacle of a movie with grand special effects, but that’s ok. Sometimes I just want to watch a movie with human characters telling a human story.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Music, Throwback Thursday