The complicated sentence construction of Jane Austen is what makes me read Sense and Sensibility really slow. Although I have to admit that I am losing interest with the plot, I could not help but to whine about how difficult it is in reading her. Unlike Les Miserables, the lengthy phrases, liberal use of commas, and the seemingly endless chains of modifiers make my head hurt every time I try to read them.
Take this for example:
But it was not immediately that an opportunity of doing so could be commanded, though Lucy was as well disposed as herself to take advantage of any that occurred; for the weather was not often fine enough to allow of their joining in a walk, where they might most easily separate themselves from the others; and though they met at least every other evening either at the Park or cottage, and chiefly at the former, they could not be supposed to meet for the sake of conversation
You see what I am getting at? It is very easy to lose you way midsentence. Try to translate the sentence in its diagram form and let’s see how it will look like. Try it. You’ll see.
This sentence construction reminds me how I tediously suffered reading Verbum Dei for my Theology class. Firstly, Theology is so abstract I didn’t get it– thus, I failed. Secondly, I think by reading that piece it triggered my almost-phobic experience with commas. Once I see them, I literally panic!
Okay, I think it was unfair for SS to be compared with LesMiz. First and foremost, the latter is a translation and it’s sentence should have been altered at a certain extent. But my point is, they are written quite a few decades next to each other– SS being published 1811 while LesMiz on 1862. They must have quite the same sentence construction therefore.
But NO! Jane Austen seems to make my reading experience more difficult.
I am at the point where Elinor met Lucy and learned that Edward Ferrars is engaged (It’s very interesting how engaged is being used in the story– apparently engaged has the same meaning as dating) with the latter. I do not know yet if Lucy is telling the truth or is just under a confusion, but I can sympathize with Elinor. Being in loved with his apparent man of her dreams then knowing suddenly that he is engaged with another lady will surely break one’s heart. But I love how Elinor handled the “revelation”– I think I should learn how to handle my emotions like she does.