Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility Chapter 50 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mrs. Ferrars eventually did forgive Edward, and called him her son again. He told her of his engagement to Elinor and, although Mrs. Ferrars tried to persuade him to marry Miss Morton, she eventually consented to the marriage. Finally, she again promised Edward some inheritance, enough for Edward and Elinor to live comfortably at Delaford.
Mrs. Ferrars would prefer for her son to marry a wealthy bride, but relents and allows him to marry the woman she loves, even returning some of Edward’s inheritance to him.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Edward and Elinor were married in the fall and happily settled into their life at Delaford. All they wanted now was for Colonel Brandon and Marianne to marry. John visited Elinor and was happy for her, but said that he was slightly disappointed as he would have liked to have Colonel Brandon as a brother-in-law.
Elinor and Edward’s long, tumultuous relationship has finally reached the only conclusion that guarantees both their happiness and comfort: marriage.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Mrs. Ferrars visited Edward and Elinor and made a pretense of “decent affection,” though her “real favour and preference” were for Robert, whom she quickly forgave for marrying Lucy. The narrator says that Lucy’s behavior is “a most encouraging instance of what an earnest, an unceasing attention to self-interest, however its progress may be apparently obstructed, will do in securing every advantage of fortune.”
Mrs. Ferrars tries to act kindly and politely toward Edward and Elinor, even though she favors Robert and did not want Edward to marry Elinor. Lucy’s persistent, self-interested behavior is an example of how women in this sexist society can try to control their own destinies and move up through society.
Themes
Women in Society Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Robert had visited Lucy only to persuade her to give up her engagement to Edward, but as he met with her more and more, they began to develop affections for each other. After they married, Robert easily found the pardon of his mother, and Lucy was gradually forgiven by her, as well. Before long, Lucy and Robert were closer to Mrs. Ferrars than Edward and Elinor were.
Lucy and Robert developed an unexpected romantic connection that served Lucy’s goals of finding a husband well. Even though Mrs. Ferrars disowned Edward for being engaged to Lucy, she hypocritically is quick to forgive Robert for marrying her.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
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Elinor’s mother and sisters visited her often, so that her “marriage divided her as little from her family as could well be contrived.” Mrs. Dashwood, Edward, and Elinor all hoped that Marianne and Colonel Brandon would marry. Gradually, Marianne came around to liking Brandon, and discovered “the falsehood of her own opinions” about love. Just two years before she thought Brandon was too old to be an eligible husband, though now she thought otherwise.
Elinor is fortunate not only to find love with Edward, but to retain her close, loving relationship with her family. Marianne finally relinquishes her overly romantic notion of love and is able to grow gradually fond of Colonel Brandon.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Instead of “falling a sacrifice to an irresistible passion,” which was how Marianne used to think of love, she gradually grew more and more attracted to Brandon. They married, and her fondness grew even more, as she “could never love by halves.” Willoughby heard of Marianne’s marriage with some pain, but eventually found “no inconsiderable degree of domestic felicity” with Miss Grey, though he still thought of Marianne as “his secret standard of perfection in woman.”
Marianne now has a slightly more rational understanding of love. Like Elinor, she has achieved some balance between sense and sensibility. She is still rather extreme in her emotions, though, and is unable to love Brandon moderately. Before long, she is fully in love with Colonel Brandon.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Mrs. Dashwood stayed at Barton Cottage with Margaret, as Marianne and Elinor were now living with their husbands. Margaret was now approaching the age where she was “not very ineligible for being supposed to have a lover.” The Dashwoods remained close, with “strong family affection.” In their new married lives, Elinor and Marianne retained a happy relationship between themselves and between their husbands.
Margaret is now approaching the time when she, as a young woman, will also have to enter society and attempt to find a husband. Elinor and Marianne are very fortunate for being able to find loving, happy marriages, while also retaining strong connections with each other based on familial love.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Women in Society Theme Icon