I’ve never been a fan of reading sequels to Jane Austen’s novels, as I feel that they simply don’t do justice to her writing. However, as I was reading Sense and Sensibility the other day, I couldn’t help but visualise what Elinor and Marianne would be like, had Jane Austen set the novel in the 21st Century. I will now share some of the ideas that came to me.
First of all, the modern-day Elinor and Marianne would certainly have pursued careers. Perhaps their characters would have been older, too, as marriages nowadays rarely take place during the late teens as they do in the novel.
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Houses and homes are an important theme throughout Sense and Sensibility. Elinor, who has plenty of common sense and is the first to take an initiative to find a suitable family home for the Dashwoods, might have made a good estate agent. She would have good business acumen and, although she might not make much money as an estate agent, she would be able to live comfortably within her means, being so economical and wise. On the other hand, she might make a good architect, too, what with her excellent skills at sketching.
Marianne, on the other hand, being a dreamer and an artistic soul, might be less practical about her career choices. Perhaps the modern-day Marianne would dream of the career of a singer/songwriter, living on very little but loving her freedom. I visualise her living in a small but quaint flat in a romantic, leafy area, where she would spend her evenings playing her guitar and singing melancholy love songs.
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John Willoughby would probably have a penchant for fast motorbikes with which he would impress the modern-day girls, taking them on wild rides around the countryside. This modern scoundrel who would drift from one girl to another, would not be a hard-worker in the traditional sense and would probably earn his money by making risky investments in the stock market.
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The more laid-back Edward Ferrars, on the other hand, would be unlikely to have a well-payed, fashionable job and would live in a less fancy area. He might be a struggling academic living within modest means on a university campus and drive an old Fiat.
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The middle-aged Colonel Brandon – or simply known as Brandon – would be well-to-do and in an established position, perhaps a business man with plenty of work experience behind him. He would have worked abroad and seen much of the world, and live in a comfortable house of his own…
…I could go on!
Have you ever tried imagining any of Jane Austen’s heroes living in the modern day and age and if so, what did you visualise them to be like?