Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mrs. Jennings, Elinor, and Marianne all felt compassion for Edward. For the next few days, they heard no more news about the matter. One day, Elinor and Mrs. Jennings went to Kensington Gardens. Mrs. Jennings ran into an old friend, and Elinor encountered Anne Steele. Mrs. Jennings encouraged Elinor to “get it all out of her,” and learn more of the situation with Edward from Anne.
Mrs. Jennings, Elinor, and Marianne care less about money than Fanny or Mrs. Ferrars, and sympathize with Edward. Mrs. Jennings once again wants to get all the gossip she can about her circle of acquaintances.
Themes
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Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Anne asked if Mrs. Jennings was angry with Lucy, and Elinor told her she wasn’t. Anne said that false rumors were spreading that Edward was going to leave Lucy, as “nobody in their senses could expect Mr. Ferrars to give up a woman like Miss Morton, with thirty thousand pounds to her fortune.”
Anne is worried about rumors circulating around their small aristocratic society. Most people would think it highly unlikely for Edward to decline a marriage to a woman as wealthy as Miss Morton.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Edward had come to Lucy, and Anne overheard him telling Lucy that they should abandon the engagement for her sake, since he now had no fortune to offer her. But Lucy would not do this, and the two happily decided to maintain their engagement. Edward planned to become a priest and they were going to wait until they had a living to marry.
Gentlemanly, Edward gives Lucy the option of leaving him now that he has no real fortune. Lucy, however, at least appears to want to marry Edward for him, rather than his money.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Anne spoke of how rudely Mrs. Ferrars, John, and Fanny behaved with the matter of Edward’s engagement, before having to leave. When Mrs. Jennings and Elinor were in their carriage on the way back home, Mrs. Jennings “was eager for information,” and Elinor told her that Edward planned to become a priest and was keeping his engagement with Lucy.
Anne rebukes John and Fanny, but not too harshly, as she knows Elinor is related to them. Mrs. Jennings doesn’t want to miss out on any news of the situation that Elinor may have gleaned from Anne.
Themes
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The next morning, Elinor received a letter from Lucy, saying that she and Edward were happy together even after the troubles they had gone through. She said that she urged Edward to break off their engagement “for prudence sake,” but he would not agree. She explained Edward’s plans to become a priest and asked if Elinor could recommend him “to any body that has a living to bestow.” Elinor showed the letter to Mrs. Jennings, who was delighted to read that Lucy was happy.
Lucy also seems to recognize the imprudence of marrying Edward without a sizable fortune, but Edward is firm in his commitment to her. Lucy’s letter is a delicate attempt to get Elinor to plead on her and Edward’s behalf to someone who might be able to give Edward a living.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon