I recently finished Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen and the book of Ruth in the Bible. This was no coincidence. God orchestrated it, so I could see some cool connections between the two.
The funny thing is: If I had stuck to an intense Bible reading plan, these two wouldn't have coincided. So, although this is a fun post, you can also take from it this lesson: Let the Lord lead your reading, and don't feel like you have to read the Bible in a year. I'm not, and I am giving you permission to throw off those expectations. :)
Without further ado, here are 10 wild similarities between Sense & Sensibility and the book of Ruth.
If you haven't read Sense & Sensibility or the book of Ruth, I highly recommend both before reading this post.
1. The story opens with three important characters: a mother figure and two daughters. We can clearly see Mrs. Dashwood and Naomi as mothers. The daughters don't exactly line up--as Orpah leaves and Ruth has qualities of both Elinor and Marianne. But there are still three female characters to start.
2. Male caregiver dies in first chapter, leaving the women to fend for themselves. Mr. Dashwood, Sr., Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion--all of their deaths kick off the storyline for the three women.
3. Soon afterwards, the mother figure decides they should move. Although Israel and Barton Cottage aren't exactly similar, the point is that both families move to a different place, according to their time period and means.
4. Speaking of means, both families are desperately poor. This is evidenced by their moving, reliance on the kindness of others, and the dialogue in the stories.
*drops jaw* Wow! We're off to a great start. Do you see how the plot points align? Moving on...
5. The hard-working, practical daughter. Elinor and Ruth are their mother's/mother-in-law's right-hand woman. They both help provide in the ways that they can in their day and age.
6. Uncommon kindness from handsome man (often in a field of wheat/straw!). Col. Brandon and Boaz are incredibly thoughtful men who take care of their girls. Whether rushing to get Marianne's mother or giving Ruth extra food and special gathering privileges, the handsome man is uncommonly and extremely kind, going above and beyond the necessary.
7. Faithful, patient love of same man. Time passes, and the young women are hesitant to love the older men. But eventually, the faithful, patient love of the man becomes clear.
8. Match-making mother makes things happen. Mrs. Dashwood and Naomi aren't shy about prompting the couples to get together. Subtly, of course.
9. The daughter's alternative love gives her up. Both Willoughby and the unnamed kinsman-redeemer choose not to marry the young lady out of, we can presume in both cases, pure selfishness.
10. Daughter gets married to that much-older, kind man. Although Col. Brandon and Boaz are significantly older than Marianne and Ruth, the girls are rewarded in the end for "not running after younger men" (Ruth 3:10).
And they all live happily ever after!
I've done two posts like this before. Check them out here: