In this scene from the 2008 MASTERPIECE adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the Dashwood sisters and their mother first see their new home, Barton Cottage, a simple dwelling set against the tumultuous north Devon coast—and the viewer experiences it with them. As the camera swoops over the untamed sea, the cottage first appears large, then insignficant when set against the vast landscape. The Dashwood family, now very far away from the “civilized” world of society, is on its own. As we follow the family as they enter the cottage, each character’s reaction—Mrs. Dashwood is overwhelmed, Marianne pronounces it “romantic,” and Elinor is practical—reinforces what we already know about their personalities.
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