Jane Austen's novels usually end in happy matrimony. How does the conclusion of Schine’s novel correspond with this pattern but also break it?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 10/20/10
Austen's novels are traditional comedies--not in the "ha ha, that's funny" sense but in the sense that they end pedictably with suitable marriages. The main characters all find happy relationships with people they "should" marry. I was expecting Schine's novel to end the same way, but I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. Although Miranda found a loving partner and is contemplating marriage, it's an untraditional marriage that (unfortunately) is not fully sanctioned by the community. Annie's match with Roberts is more like a typical Austen match. Betty's end is much more tragic and definitely not like anything Austen would write.
Join Date: 10/16/10
I agree. I, too, was pleased to see Schine change the traditional "marriage plot" ending to something else. Though, I have to say, I was surprised that Betty died. I wanted her to thrive beyond her divorce, not have that be the end of her life. It felt to me like Schine was punishing Josie and beating the reader over the head with "divorce is traumatizing; look what it caused here." Perhaps I'm reading too far here, but I didn't think a death fit with the overall themes of regeneration and second chances.
Join Date: 10/21/10
I thought Josie should have died...and let Betty collect the spoils of an unfortunate war. I enjoyed most of her thought processes. In essence she went into death is divorce mode right away. If anyone should have survived it should of been Betty -she started her regeneration early.
Join Date: 08/17/11
Schine's ending is contemporary, with the unexpected (Betty's death, although she had acted as if Josie had died, her marriage died), the "controversial" (marriage of Miranda to a woman, although there is no controversy there for me and I don't understand how there should be if we respect civil rights of all) , the mundane (Josie and Felicity would continue on in their marriage) and the reconciliation of Annie and Miranda into the freedom to be who they would be as individuals, yet remain as sisters. Austen's ending is predictable, somewhat comfortable, traditional.
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