Sense and Sensibility

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Elinor Dashwood Character Analysis

The oldest of the three Dashwood sisters. Elinor exemplifies sense, from the novel’s title. She is a rational thinker, who restrains her emotions, even when she suffers great hardship. Elinor is polite and always tries to say the right thing when around company. She often has to correct or apologize to people for Marianne, who is less concerned with manners and propriety. Elinor is a caring sister and tries to comfort Marianne when she is abandoned by Willoughby. She is in love with Edward, but tries to ignore or put aside these feelings for much of the novel, as she believes him to be taken by Lucy. At the end of the novel, Elinor finally lets some of her emotions out: when Edward tells her that he has not married Lucy, she bursts out into tears. After marrying Edward, Elinor settles down into a comfortable, happy life.

Elinor Dashwood Quotes in Sense and Sensibility

The Sense and Sensibility quotes below are all either spoken by Elinor Dashwood or refer to Elinor Dashwood. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Sense and Sensibility published in 2003.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Elinor, this eldest daughter whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding, and coolness of judgment, which qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counselor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to counteract, to the advantage of them all, that eagerness of mind in Mrs. Dashwood which must generally have led to imprudence. She had an excellent heart; - her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn, and which one of her sisters had resolved never to be taught.

Related Characters: Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

By the end of the first chapter, we already know quite a bit about several of the main characters in the novel. The narrator introduces us to these characters in a way that emphasizes their consistent, stable characters. We will not necessarily see such traits change over the course of the book: characters like Elinor are assumed to be already fully formed (and this, perhaps, is why less time is spent describing Margaret, the sister who, as a child, does not yet have a fully formed character). What can change, instead, is their realization concerning what others are really like. 

Here, Elinor is shown to be the very definition of "sense" as alluded to in the title. While Mrs. Dashwood is flighty and scattered, Elinor is wiser than her age. Still, the narrator is quick to point out that Elinor's good sense does not mean that she is cold or unfeeling. Right from the start, we are meant to understand that having sense does not mean that one has no feelings, but rather that one knows how to manage them, preventing feelings from dictating how one lives.

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Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in every thing: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. she was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

After describing Elinor at length, the narrator turns to her sister Marianne. While Elinor had been described in terms of her prudence, and in terms of how different she is from her mother, here Marianne's similarities with her mother are emphasized. The narrator has seemed somewhat disapproving of Mrs. Dashwood's character, but Marianne is depicted more generously. It is not that she is less capable than her sister, or less able to know how to act reasonably - she is instead simply incapable of acting according to that knowledge. Although the adjectives used to describe Marianne are largely positive, the narrator emphasizes that Marianne is unable to be moderate in any of these elements. 

Chapter 3 Quotes

Some mothers might have encouraged the intimacy from motives of interest, for Edward Ferrars was the eldest son of a man who had died very rich; and some might have repressed it from motives of prudence, for, except a trifling sum, the whole of his fortune depended on the will of his mother. But Mrs. Dashwood was alike uninfluenced by either consideration. It was enough for her that he appeared to be amiable, that he loved her daughter, and that Elinor returned the partiality. It was contrary to every doctrine of hers that difference of fortune should keep any couple asunder who were attracted by resemblance of disposition.

Related Characters: Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

A potential romantic interest is developing between Elinor and Edward Ferrars. Far more than in modern times, such a relationship in this milieu was not to be private and limited to the two people involved: instead, it was to be quickly wrapped up in broader economic and social questions involving the entire family and even other members of the community. Here we learn that Edward Ferrars could potentially be rich, but his wealth will depend on his mother's wishes. Austen often describes marriage as a kind of strategic game, and here the strategy of a mother would depend on her appetite for risk. 

Mrs. Dashwood, however, is described as lacking any sense of strategy in marrying off her daughters, instead preferring that love guide the way. In a way, Mrs. Dashwood is thus shown in a more positive light than other mothers who care about nothing other than climbing the social ladder. But this novel is also skeptical that love and "resemblance of disposition" alone is enough in arranging a marriage, which, after all, would be the main way by which a woman in particular could ensure stability at this time and place. Mrs. Dashwood's lack of prudence means that Elinor will be on her own in attempting to play the game of class-based social relationships. 

His eyes want all that spirit, that fire, which at once announce virtue and intelligence. And besides all this, I am afraid, mamma, he has no real taste. Music seems scarcely to attract him, and though he admires Elinor’s drawings very much, it is not the admiration of a person who can understand their worth.

Related Characters: Marianne Dashwood (speaker), Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

While Mrs. Dashwood is perfectly happy with the relationship between Elinor and Edward Ferrars, Marianne does not feel the same way. In this passage, she judges Edward according to her own hierarchy of taste and merit, and finds him deeply wanting. Marianne highly values knowledge of art and music, which she finds both inherently beautiful as well as telling in terms of the ability of a person to feel deeply and to appreciate beauty around him or her. For Marianne, though, it is not even enough for someone to be able to admire artistic ability in another, if he cannot espouse it himself.

The way Marianne describes Edward is nonetheless vague, from the "spirit" or "fire" that she would like to see in his eyes to the "taste" that she associates with music and art. Marianne clearly holds an ideal of sensibility, but it is not entirely clear what Edward would need to do to prove that he is capable of true feeling, apart from the relatively superficial signs that she mentions to her mother.

Chapter 4 Quotes

You know enough of him to do justice to his solid worth. But of his minuter propensities as you call them you have from peculiar circumstances been kept more ignorant than myself. He and I have been at times thrown a good deal together, while you have been engrossed on the most affectionate principle by my mother. I have seen a great deal of him, have studied his sentiments and heard his opinion on subjects of literature and taste; and, upon the whole, I venture to pronounce that his mind is well-informed, his enjoyment of books exceedingly great, his imagination lively, his observation just and correct, and his taste delicate and pure. . . . At present, I know him so well, that I think him really handsome; or, at least, almost so.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Mrs. Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:

Elinor's relationship with Edward Ferrars has progressed to such a point that she can reasonably expect that he will extend an offer of marriage to her. However, at this point nothing is yet certain or official. As she talks with Marianne about the pros and cons of marrying Edward, Elinor is wary of plunging headlong into the possibility of a new life with him. She prefers to remain at a slight distance from the situation, carefully considering why she believes she would be making the right decision in marrying him.

Elinor's balanced, cool judgments will of course be shocking to Marianne, but they also strike a typical reader, versed in the expectations of romance in love and marriage, as surprising in the apparent lack of feeling. It seems that Elinor is not at all implicated in the life of the man she describes, instead attempting to cast impartial judgment on his abilities and worth. However, we have been told from the beginning of the book that just because Elinor is able to remain dispassionate does not mean that she lacks feeling, but instead that she is able to direct and manage it. This passage is almost a caricature of "sense" as a character trait, and yet we are meant not to recoil from Elinor's judgments but to seek to understand her embrace of sense over feeling.

Chapter 11 Quotes

Elinor could not be surprised at their attachment. She only wished that it were less openly shewn; and once or twice did venture to suggest the propriety of some self-command to Marianne. But Marianne abhorred all concealment where no real disgrace could attend unreserve; and to aim at the restraint of sentiments which were not in themselves illaudable, appeared to her not merely an unnecessary effort, but a disgraceful subjection of reason to common-place and mistaken notions. Willoughby thought the same; and their behaviour at all times, was an illustration of their opinions.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, John Willoughby
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

Elinor might prefer for Marianne to be in love with Colonel Brandon, who adores her and for whom Elinor feels great compassion, since he has loved and lost before. Still, she is not one to judge Marianne's choice of suitor - she disapproves only of the way in which Marianne chooses to carry out this courtship. Here, the narrator makes another distinction between the characters of Marianne and Elinor, one that can be mapped onto the difference between sense and sensibility. For Marianne, attempting to conceal one's feelings for another person, or even one's beliefs in general, is dishonest and disingenuous. If there is nothing wrong with how she feels about Willoughby, as she believes (and he does he as well), then there is no reason for her to hide how she feels about him.

Elinor, however, believes that such openness is not a positive trait in any circumstances, even if the reasons are justifiable. Since she can never know what might happen next or where things may go wrong, it is better, she finds, not to share everything with the world. Marriage, in particular, is such a bedrock of society and such an important means of stability for women that she considers it better to be prudent rather than to expose one's feelings immediately.

Chapter 19 Quotes

Elinor sat down to her drawing-table as soon as he was out of the house, busily employed herself the whole day, neither sought nor avoided the mention of his name, appeared to interest herself almost as much as ever in the general concerns of the family, and if, by this conduct, she did not lessen her own grief, it was at least prevented from unnecessary increase, and her mother and sisters were spared much solicitude on her account. Such behaviour as this, so exactly the reverse of her own, appeared no more meritorious to Marianne, than her own had seemed faulty to her. The business of self-command she settled very easily;—with strong affections it was impossible, with calm ones it could have no merit.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage stands in sharp contrast to the way in which Marianne was depicted following her own final conversation with Willoughby and her own lover's departure. We know from this passage that Elinor is just as upset by the events as Marianne had been in her own case: she cannot "lessen her own grief" even as she tries to distract herself and involve herself in her family's affairs. At the same time, we see how Marianne mistakenly judges Elinor's actions based on her own understanding of the relationship between feelings and action. For Marianne, if one does not display grief or despair, it must be that those feelings do not exist - it must be, therefore, that Elinor never truly felt anything for Edward. Distanced from the interactions of the characters, we as readers are meant to grasp just how wrong Marianne is, even as we understand her mistake and may even find Elinor's behavior confusing ourselves.

Chapter 20 Quotes

Elinor was again obliged to decline her invitation; and by changing the subject, put a stop to her entreaties. She thought it probable that as they lived in the same county, Mrs. Palmer might be able to give some more particular account of Willoughby's general character, than could be gathered from the Middletons' partial acquaintance with him; and she was eager to gain from any one, such a confirmation of his merits as might remove the possibility of fear from Marianne.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, John Willoughby, Charlotte Palmer
Page Number: 110-111
Explanation and Analysis:

Elinor has taken it upon herself to arrange her and her sisters' social affairs and invitations, since Marianne is too distraught over Willoughby and their mother is too flighty to be of much help. Here, she thinks strategically about which invitations to accept and which to avoid, as well as whom she might be in touch with in order to gain greater knowledge about Willoughby for Marianne's sake. In a society where friends might not see each other for weeks or months, and news traveled more slowly than it does today, people - especially women, who were less free to travel around alone - had to plan at greater length how to find out what they wished to know about people's characters and past lives.

Indeed, Elinor, while troubled by Marianne's feelings, takes the more pragmatic approach of attempting to figure out exactly what kind of a man Willoughby is, rather than of simply waiting for him as Marianne seems to be doing. Although Marianne might scorn Elinor's attitude towards romantic relationships, she remains unaware that her sister's practical, sensible mindset may well work in her favor.

Chapter 23 Quotes

Her resentment of such behaviour, her indignation at having been its dupe, for a short time made her feel only for herself; but other ideas, other considerations, soon arose. Had Edward been intentionally deceiving her? Had he feigned a regard for her which he did not feel? Was his engagement to Lucy an engagement of the heart? No; whatever it might once have been, she could not believe it such at present. His affection was all her own. She could not be deceived in that. Her mother, sisters, Fanny, all had been conscious of his regard for her at Norland; it was not an illusion of her own vanity. He certainly loved her. What a softener of the heart was this persuasion! How much could it not tempt her to forgive!

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars, Lucy Steele
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Elinor has learned from Lucy Steele that she and Edward Ferrars are engaged. Understandably unwilling to share the details of her own past with Edward, and committed to remaining calm and friendly to this woman rather than break with decorum and expose her true feelings, Elinor is nonetheless shocked by the news. In great inner turmoil, she returns to the conclusions that she had carefully, cautiously drawn based on what she had experienced with Edward.

At first, Elinor questions these conclusions: but her rational side soon returns, as she recognizes that his character is the same as it always was, and he could not have simply changed his personality so suddenly and briefly. As she returns to the confidence of Edward's love for her, her confusion and shock are somewhat assuaged. She still cannot understand how or why Edward is engaged, but she is confident that he does not love Lucy, and this knowledge - even though, in this world, it may well mean that he could marry Lucy anyway - helps to stabilize her feelings at a difficult moment.

Chapter 28 Quotes

At that moment she first perceived him, and her whole countenance glowing with sudden delight, she would have moved towards him instantly, had not her sister caught hold of her.
"Good heavens!" she exclaimed, "he is there—he is there—Oh! why does he not look at me? why cannot I speak to him?"
"Pray, pray be composed," cried Elinor, "and do not betray what you feel to every body present. Perhaps he has not observed you yet."
This however was more than she could believe herself; and to be composed at
such a moment was not only beyond the reach of Marianne, it was beyond her wish. She sat in an agony of impatience which affected every feature.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Marianne Dashwood (speaker), John Willoughby
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:

Marianne and Elinor have arrived at Lady Middleton's party, and Marianne has caught a glimpse of Willoughby from the other side of the room. Even though Willoughby has failed to return Marianne's messages and to get in touch with her while the sisters are in London, Marianne doesn't think anything might be amiss, and is absolutely delighted to see him. Elinor, on the other hand, is more skeptical. Even if she believed that everything was ideal between Marianne and Willoughby, she would still believe it better for Marianne to reign in her emotions and to "keep composed," as she says, if only so as not to share everything she feels with everyone in the room.

It is even more important, in Elinor's eyes, that Marianne act with greater reserve, since Elinor is thinking more rationally regarding the couple's relationship, and is wary of what Willoughby's present situation might actually be. Once again, the book emphasizes that Marianne's embrace of sensibility is not simply because she has no ability to restrain herself, but because she believes earnestness or openness to be a positive good, such that she sees no reason to change her actions.

Marianne, now looking dreadfully white, and unable to stand, sunk into her chair, and Elinor, expecting every moment to see her faint, tried to screen her from the observation of others, while reviving her with lavender water.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

Willoughby has done all that he could to avoid Marianne, and finally speaks to her coldly: she is absolutely shocked and hurt. Immediately, Elinor steps into disaster mode. She knows that Marianne is not only stricken with grief, but will not be able to hide anything that she is feeling, and if she cannot help her sister to "revive," then the entire party will soon know or guess just what has happened between Marianne and Willoughby. While Marianne is so sensitive that she can only deal with her own feelings, Elinor is well aware of how serious it would be for all of London's social scene to know about their private lives. As young women who are relatively vulnerable, lacking fortune or even paternal care, the two sisters cannot afford to have society scorn them, and Elinor wants to avoid this at all costs.

Chapter 29 Quotes

Elinor could no longer witness this torrent of unresisted grief in silence.
"Exert yourself, dear Marianne," she cried, "if you would not kill yourself and all who love you. Think of your mother; think of her misery while YOU suffer: for her sake you must exert yourself."
"I cannot, I cannot," cried Marianne; "leave me, leave me, if I distress you; leave me, hate me, forget me! but do not torture me so. Oh! how easy for those, who have no sorrow of their own to talk of exertion!”

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Marianne Dashwood (speaker)
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:

Elinor and Marianne have read a letter from Willoughby to Marianne, which has claimed that he never meant to imply that his feelings for her were greater than friendship. Both the sisters are shocked by this evidently disingenuous letter. However, Marianne immediately returns to spasms of grief, unable to restrain herself, as usual. Elinor once again takes on the voice of reason. Here she asks Marianne to think of others, not simply of herself, in order to perhaps be better able to regain control over her own emotions.

As readers, privy to more knowledge than certain characters, we can well understand how stinging Marianne's response must be for Elinor. Marianne assumes that Elinor has never felt the same way for anyone, so she cannot possibly understand what Marianne is going through. Of course, Elinor knows almost exactly how Marianne feels, and it is almost more hurtful to have those feelings denied legitimacy by someone who assigns only coldness and lack of feelings to Elinor. Still, of course, it has been Elinor's choice to keep everything hidden regarding her emotions, so Marianne cannot be entirely faulted for assuming a consistency between her sister's feelings and behavior.

Chapter 31 Quotes

“He had left the girl whose youth and innocence he had seduced, in a situation of the utmost distress, with no creditable home, no help, no friends, ignorant of his address! He had left her, promising to return; he neither returned, nor wrote, nor relieved her."
"This is beyond every thing!" exclaimed Elinor.
"His character is now before you; expensive, dissipated, and worse than both.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Colonel Brandon (speaker), Colonel Brandon, Eliza (Younger)
Page Number: 198
Explanation and Analysis:

Colonel Brandon has shared with Elinor a long story that, he believes, will make clear what Willoughby's character is truly like. The story seems to prove Willoughby's irresponsibility and indecency: it ends with him abandoning a girl, while pregnant, whom he had seduced. Elinor is of course shocked by this tale, especially as she realizes to an even greater extent how little she (or Marianne) had understood of Willoughby's true character. She is not confused as to what Willoughby is really like; instead, here as elsewhere, the book defines character as something consistent and stable - one might not fully know another person, but that is only because one has not learned all there is to be learned about the person, not because the person is inconsistent or overly complex. 

Brandon finally is confident enough to make a sweeping statement about Willoughby's character by the end of his story, though he had begun apologetically, unwilling to smear someone's reputation rather than allow that reputation to come forth naturally. Now, though, Elinor can be grateful to Brandon for exposing Willoughby's past to her, and for helping her to understand the root of Willoughby's actions regarding Marianne.

Chapter 37 Quotes

"If such is your way of thinking," said Marianne, "if the loss of what is most valued is so easily to be made up by something else, your resolution, your self-command, are, perhaps, a little less to be wondered at.—They are brought more within my comprehension."
"I understand you.—You do not suppose that I have ever felt much.—For four months, Marianne, I have had all this hanging on my mind, without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature; knowing that it would make you and my mother most unhappy whenever it were explained to you, yet unable to prepare you for it in the least.”

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood (speaker), Marianne Dashwood (speaker)
Page Number: 247
Explanation and Analysis:

The news of Edward's engagement has become public, which gives Elinor the opportunity to speak of what she had been forced for so long to keep secret. Initially, Marianne is simply surprised that Elinor didn't share such a secret with her, but she continues to believe that Elinor's calm and composure is merely a sign that Elinor never cared much for Edward to begin with. The "loss" of Edward cannot, she imagine, be a great one for her sister.

For the first time, however, Elinor begins to disabuse Marianne of such a notion. She explains that it has been deeply difficult to have had to keep such a secret for so long, unable to share some of the burden with anyone. As she prepares to make Marianne understand that she, too, feels and suffers just as keenly as someone who shows it more, Elinor too must learn to adopt a bit of sensibility into her more rational nature. Only by exposing some of what she truly feels will Marianne ever understand that Elinor is not the cold-hearted woman she thought she was.

Chapter 45 Quotes

Willoughby, he, whom only half an hour ago she had abhorred as the most worthless of men, Willoughby, in spite of all his faults, excited a degree of commiseration for the sufferings produced by them, which made her think of him as now separated for ever from her family, with a tenderness, a regret, rather in proportion, as she soon acknowledged within herself—to his wishes than to his merits. She felt that his influence over her mind was heightened by circumstances which ought not in reason to have weight; by that person of uncommon attraction, that open, affectionate, and lively manner which it was no merit to possess; and by that still ardent love for Marianne, which it was not even innocent to indulge.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, John Willoughby
Page Number: 311
Explanation and Analysis:

After Willoughby has shared his long story with Elinor, she finds herself once again having to reevaluate his character, having to reevaluate the significance of his prior actions - and, in particular, the relationship between his behavior and his true feelings for Marianne. She is initially wary of feeling any pity for a man who caused her sister such pain, and whom she knows to have made a great deal of mistakes in his life. However, she is now confident that Willoughby can never be with Marianne: he is "separated for ever from her family."

Elinor regretfully admits to herself that she is allowing her own sensibility to win out to a certain extent over her sense: her judgment of Willoughby is softened by her knowledge that he still deeply loves Marianne. Still, she has come to recognize that she finally understands his character better than she ever has. She and Marianne were privy only to an aspect of it while he and Marianne were courting, and Colonel Brandon exposed a greater, though incomplete, part of it: now his character lies open to be judged and understood as well-intentioned and fundamentally good but also deeply weak. 

Chapter 46 Quotes

As they approached Barton, indeed, and entered on scenes of which every field and every tree brought some peculiar, some painful recollection, she grew silent and thoughtful, and turning away her face from their notice, sat earnestly gazing through the window. But here, Elinor could neither wonder nor blame; and when she saw, as she assisted Marianne from the carriage, that she had been crying, she saw only an emotion too natural in itself to raise any thing less tender than pity, and in its unobtrusiveness entitled to praise. In the whole of her subsequent manner, she traced the direction of a mind awakened to reasonable exertion; for no sooner had they entered their common sitting-room, than Marianne turned her eyes around it with a look of resolute firmness, as if determined at once to accustom herself to the sight of every object with which the remembrance of Willoughby could be connected.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, John Willoughby
Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:

Marianne has finally recovered enough from her illness to travel with Elinor and their mother back home to Barton. Marianne hasn't been here since she and Willoughby were in the midst of a happy courtship, and now everything she sees reminds her of Willoughby. Still, it is obvious that Marianne has grown up a great deal in the time since she left. Her "resolute firmness" is certainly something new, as she comes to terms with the fact that she will have to suffer the recollection of Willoughby for some time yet. 

The novel is clear in pointing out that Marianne's character does not undergo a complete revolution. She is still quite susceptible to emotional exaggeration, and she cannot entirely reign in her emotions: she cries much of the way home, for instance. But we are meant to see that significant life experiences can work some changes on people, so that within the character traits that define them a certain measure of development is actually possible.

Chapter 48 Quotes

Elinor could sit it no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease. Edward, who had till then looked any where, rather than at her, saw her hurry away, and perhaps saw—or even heard, her emotion; for immediately afterwards he fell into a reverie, which no remarks, no inquiries, no affectionate address of Mrs. Dashwood could penetrate, and at last, without saying a word, quitted the room, and walked out towards the village—leaving the others in the greatest astonishment and perplexity on a change in his situation, so wonderful and so sudden;—a perplexity which they had no means of lessening but by their own conjectures.

Related Characters: Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
Page Number: 335
Explanation and Analysis:

Edward has just shared with the Dashwood family that he has not married Lucy: instead, it is his brother Robert who is now married to her. As soon as she hears this news, Elinor - for the first time in the novel - cannot restrain her own joy. We have recently seen Marianne adopt some of her sister's sense, and now the opposite is taking place, as Elinor seems to have been affected by her sister's sensibility. Of course, some things never change: Elinor still finds it necessary to hide her tears from the company of others, even as it is most likely obvious to Edward how she has reacted.

Just as Marianne's experiences have shown her that sense can be a positive trait, Elinor's emotional outpouring now proves itself to be advantageous, as it seems to show Edward how Elinor truly feels about him, without her having to loudly proclaim her love for him. As the book draws to a close, the polar nodes of sense and sensibility are shown to be less opposites than alternative choices in a certain situation, choices that can be balanced between each other in deciding how to react. 

Chapter 49 Quotes

That Lucy had certainly meant to deceive, to go off with a flourish of malice against him in her message by Thomas, was perfectly clear to Elinor; and Edward himself, now thoroughly enlightened on her character, had no scruple in believing her capable of the utmost meanness of wanton ill-nature.

Related Characters: Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars, Lucy Steele
Page Number: 341
Explanation and Analysis:

As Edward tells Elinor of his childhood infatuation with Lucy, a relationship that went on far longer than it should, she begins to understand better why Edward acted the way he did. As Edward grows in Elinor's esteem, Lucy falls correspondingly. Elinor had always been careful to remain kind and friendly to Lucy, even though she never lost her feelings for Lucy's fiancé, but now she recognizes that Lucy was constantly scheming and was far more conniving than she believed. In some ways, Lucy's behavior makes sense for a woman in a vulnerable social situation, determined to climb her way up in the world. But the novel is unequivocal about condemning the sneaky, deceptive way in which Lucy, for instance, does so. With Lucy's character now firmly in the open, Elinor can take solace in the fact that she need not feel sorry that she can now be with Edward.

One question after this only remained undecided, between them, one difficulty only was to be overcome. They were brought together by mutual affection, with the warmest approbation of their real friends; their intimate knowledge of each other seemed to make their happiness certain—and they only wanted something to live upon. Edward had two thousand pounds, and Elinor one, which, with Delaford living, was all that they could call their own; for it was impossible that Mrs. Dashwood should advance anything; and they were neither of them quite enough in love to think that three hundred and fifty pounds a-year would supply them with the comforts of life.

Related Characters: Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
Page Number: 343
Explanation and Analysis:

Edward knows that he cannot expect much of an income from his mother, since she is most likely still angry at him about his former engagement to Lucy. As readers, we are meant to look down upon Lucy's openly social-climbing behavior - and yet the novel does not embrace love and romance as wholeheartedly as that tone might suggest. After all, while the narrator has sought to portray the poles of sense and sensibility as relatively balanced options, the scales have always been tilted towards the side of sense.

In a society in which marriage is not just a declaration of love but a contract that can be enormously significant in terms of social and economic status and mobility, it is not something to be treated lightly, according to the novel. Nor is an emphasis on practical matters like income to be considered anti-romantic: indeed, love and mutual affection is only possible, the novel argues, when there is a strong base of stability undergirding it. Financial stability, then, is valued even as full-throated greed is looked down upon, and love is able to coexist with an interest in material comforts rather than remain as a sphere apart.

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Elinor Dashwood Character Timeline in Sense and Sensibility

The timeline below shows where the character Elinor Dashwood appears in Sense and Sensibility. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...was offended by John’s wife Fanny and thought of moving out, but her eldest daughter Elinor persuaded her not to. The narrator says that Elinor “possessed a strength of understanding, and... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
...unhappiness at the recent turn of events: “they gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow.” Elinor, by contrast had more moderation in her behavior. The youngest of the three daughters, Margaret,... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...daughters stayed at Norland for several months while they tried to find a new home. Elinor prudently rejected some possible homes that Mrs. Dashwood liked, but that were too expensive for... (full context)
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...However, she didn’t mind living at Norland that much, because of a “growing attachment” between Elinor and Fanny’s brother, Edward Ferrars. The narrator notes that some mothers might have been worried... (full context)
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Mrs. Dashwood thought that Edward and Elinor would certainly be married before long. She told this to Marianne, who lamented that Edward... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Marianne told Elinor that she thought Edward had no taste, but Elinor objected, saying he had “an innate... (full context)
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Elinor was shocked that Marianne would speak so certainly of this marriage, but admitted that she... (full context)
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Marianne was certain that Elinor and Edward would be engaged, though Elinor herself was unsure. When Fanny learned of Edward’s... (full context)
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...This property was a great distance from Norland, and Mrs. Dashwood immediately accepted the offer. Elinor did not particularly want to leave Norland but thought it made good sense, so did... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...visit them at Barton, not wanting to break up any possible match between him and Elinor. (full context)
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...which she didn’t use. She would have kept it because of its sentimental value, but Elinor’s good sense prevailed and they sold it. Servants and maids were sent ahead of time... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...thought that this would be a ridiculous match, because of Colonel Brandon’s age. She told Elinor and her mother, “thirty-five has nothing to do with matrimony.” (full context)
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Elinor told Marianne that it would be fine for Colonel Brandon to marry a 27 year-old... (full context)
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...Mrs. Dashwood, though, was not expecting Edward to visit anytime soon. Marianne was exasperated at Elinor’s lack of sadness or melancholy at being separated from Edward and at his not coming... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...shared many of the same tastes and preferences in music and literature. After Willoughby left, Elinor teased Marianne about learning Willoughby’s opinion on “almost every matter of importance” in one morning. (full context)
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Elinor gradually now realized that Colonel Brandon also liked Marianne, and, as Marianne and Willoughby grew... (full context)
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One day, Willoughby and Marianne were discussing Colonel Brandon and Elinor defended him. Marianne teased Elinor at how concerned she seemed with Colonel Brandon. She said... (full context)
Chapter 11
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In contrast to Marianne, Elinor was not feeling happy. She still missed Norland, and was fed up with the boringness... (full context)
Chapter 12
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As Marianne was walking one morning with Elinor, she told her sister that Willoughby had given her a horse. Marianne was very excited... (full context)
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Elinor told Marianne that the horse would be an inconvenience to their mother, so Marianne agreed... (full context)
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...conversation between Willoughby and Marianne and guessed that they were engaged. She told this to Elinor, but Elinor was not so certain. Margaret said that she saw Willoughby cut a lock... (full context)
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One evening at Barton Park, Mrs. Jennings asked Elinor which man was her “particular favourite.” To Elinor’s dismay, Margaret made it known that there... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...Mrs. Jennings told Marianne she knew where she and Willoughby had gone earlier that day. Elinor was disturbed by the impropriety of Marianne’s trip with Willoughby and urged her to show... (full context)
Chapter 15
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One day, Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, and Margaret went to visit Lady Middleton, leaving Marianne at home. When they got back,... (full context)
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...but Willoughby was evasive. He said he had to leave, and took off quickly, leaving Elinor and her mother uneasy. Mrs. Dashwood guessed that Willoughby’s aunt Mrs. Smith was displeased with... (full context)
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Elinor wasn’t entirely convinced by this, and remained suspicious of Willoughby. She wanted proof of his... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Elinor was uneasy, as no letters came from Willoughby. She asked her mother to ask Marianne... (full context)
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One day, Elinor and Marianne went out for a walk. They saw a man approaching on a horse... (full context)
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...asked how the Dashwoods were enjoying Barton, and Marianne said that the Middletons were unpleasant. Elinor chastised her for her impoliteness, and said that the Middletons had been very nice to... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...with Edward’s (lack of) plans, saying that grandeur has nothing to do with happiness. But Elinor said that wealth had much to do with happiness. Marianne disagreed, saying that one only... (full context)
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...about each other’s particular character, with Marianne calling Edward reserved and lacking in gaiety, while Elinor called Marianne steadfast. (full context)
Chapter 18
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Elinor couldn’t help but notice Edward’s seeming unhappiness. The next morning at breakfast, Marianne left Edward... (full context)
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...it was Fanny’s hair. Edward blushed and, after a long pause, said that it was. Elinor thought it looked like some of her own hair. Edward seemed embarrassed the rest of... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...stayed for a week at the Dashwood’s cottage, and then said he had to go. Elinor assumed that his gloomy mood was due to his mother, who was displeased with his... (full context)
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Elinor felt sad when Edward left, but didn’t allow her emotions to show, in great contrast... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...day, Mrs. Palmer was happy to see the Dashwood sisters at Barton Park and invited Elinor and Marianne to come stay with her and her husband in London. They declined the... (full context)
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...talked, Mr. Palmer was rude and aloof. Mrs. Palmer was very pleasant, though, and invited Elinor and Marianne to visit them over Christmas. The two sisters again politely declined. Elinor asked... (full context)
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Elinor said that she did not know for certain that they were engaged, but Mrs. Palmer... (full context)
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Elinor asked what Mrs. Palmer knew about Willoughby, and she said that he was generally well... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Elinor and Marianne went to Barton Park to meet the Steeles. They both found “nothing to... (full context)
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The Steeles asked Elinor and Marianne about Norland and whether they had “a great many smart beaux there.” Elinor... (full context)
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Sir John told the Steeles about Willoughby and Marianne, and the Steeles congratulated Elinor on her sister’s engagement. Sir John joked with Elinor in front of the Steeles about... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Marianne particularly disliked the Steeles for their impertinence and vulgarity. Elinor, meanwhile, found the younger Steele sister, Lucy, occasionally agreeable as a companion. One day, while... (full context)
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Elinor answered that she did not know Mrs. Ferrars. Lucy apologized for the “impertinently curious” question,... (full context)
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Elinor was shocked, but tried not to show her amazement. Lucy said that it was a... (full context)
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Lucy asked Elinor to keep the secret of the engagement. Because Lucy did not have a fortune, she... (full context)
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Lucy showed Elinor a letter from Edward and Elinor recognized Edward’s handwriting. Lucy mentioned that she had given... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Unable to doubt the truth of Lucy’s story, Elinor wondered whether Edward had been intentionally leading her on and deceiving her. She thought perhaps... (full context)
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Thinking of Edward’s difficult position with his mother, Elinor wept “for him, more than for herself.” She kept the news secret from her sisters... (full context)
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Elinor wanted to speak to Lucy again soon, to determine if she really loved Edward. But... (full context)
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Elinor and her sisters went to Barton Park, and after dinner Elinor offered to help Lucy... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Elinor broached the subject of Edward with Lucy, who worried she had offended Elinor. Elinor said... (full context)
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Elinor said that Lucy was fortunate that Edward still loved her after four years, since the... (full context)
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Lucy told Elinor that Edward desired to become a priest and she asked Elinor to ask if John... (full context)
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Lucy asked Elinor for advice, but Elinor declined, saying that Lucy had to make her own decisions. She... (full context)
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From that time on, Elinor never spoke about Edward again with Lucy, although Lucy took every opportunity to tell Elinor... (full context)
Chapter 25
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As January came around, Mrs. Jennings invited Elinor and Marianne to come stay with her in London. Elinor declined, saying she couldn’t leave... (full context)
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Elinor realized that Marianne would like to be in London so that she might be able... (full context)
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Elinor, Marianne, and Mrs. Dashwood discussed the proposed trip together. Elinor was reluctant to go, but... (full context)
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Trying to persuade Elinor to go, Mrs. Dashwood hinted that she might be able to spend time with Edward... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Elinor was surprised to find herself in Mrs. Jennings’ carriage, on the way to London, when... (full context)
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Elinor wondered what would happen between Willoughby and Marianne, reflecting on how much more hopeful Marianne’s... (full context)
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Elinor and Marianne started to write some letters as soon as they arrived in London. Elinor... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings talked with Brandon and Elinor and joked to Colonel Brandon, “I do not know what you and Mr. Willoughby will... (full context)
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After this, Marianne and Elinor went out into town. When they returned, Marianne excitedly looked to see if there was... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...up immediately, thinking that Willoughby might have been kept in the country by the weather. Elinor guessed that Marianne would probably now write to Willoughby at his country home. (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings was a kind, good hostess to the sisters, and Elinor began to become comfortable with her stay in London. Colonel Brandon visited them often, and... (full context)
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...waiting for Willoughby’s visit, but he never came. Nor did any letter come for Marianne. Elinor asked if she was expecting a letter, and hinted that Marianne was hiding something from... (full context)
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Marianne and Elinor were invited to go to dinner with Lady Middleton and Sir John, and accepted the... (full context)
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...to the dinner, when he had been invited. Marianne was hurt by this revelation, and Elinor resolved to write to their mother about the dubious relationship between Willoughby and Marianne. (full context)
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The next day, Elinor wrote to her mother, while Marianne paced anxiously around the apartment. Colonel Brandon came to... (full context)
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Knowing Brandon’s feelings for Marianne, Elinor debated what it was proper for her to say, and ended up telling him that... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...the next three or four days, Willoughby neither came to see Marianne nor wrote her. Elinor and Marianne went to a party with Lady Middleton. Marianne was in a bad mood,... (full context)
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Willoughby saw Marianne and Elinor and came over. He greeted Elinor, but ignored Marianne. Elinor was shocked, and Marianne burst... (full context)
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Marianne turned pale, and Elinor tried to advise her to maintain composure. They told Lady Middleton that Marianne was unwell,... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Early the next morning, Elinor found Marianne writing a letter, but she would not say what she was writing. Elinor... (full context)
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Elinor answered that Marianne and Willoughby were not going to be married, and told Mrs. Jennings... (full context)
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Elinor was astonished and angry. Mrs. Jennings was ready to go out into town, and Elinor... (full context)
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Marianne continued to sob, and Elinor urged her to keep her composure. Marianne said that Elinor had no idea how she... (full context)
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Elinor read the letters Marianne had sent to Willoughby. First, an excited one telling him that... (full context)
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Elinor thought it was improper that Marianne had written such letters when she and Willoughby were... (full context)
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...cruelty,” and thought that people had spread rumors about her, ruining her reputation to him. Elinor begged Marianne not to show her unhappiness so demonstrably to everyone, but Marianne said she... (full context)
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...justify his behavior. She asked if they could go home to their mother immediately, but Elinor said that they owed it to Mrs. Jennings not to leave so suddenly, as it... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Mrs. Jennings was very kind to Marianne, and Elinor returned the politeness. When Marianne left the table, Mrs. Jennings lamented that Willoughby had used... (full context)
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Elinor admitted to Mrs. Jennings that Willoughby had broken no formal engagement with Marianne, but Mrs.... (full context)
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After Elinor went to check on Marianne and tried to persuade her to go to bed, Colonel... (full context)
Chapter 31
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The next day, Marianne was still miserable. She talked with Elinor, sometimes thinking that Willoughby was innocent and sometimes feeling that he was cruel and guilty.... (full context)
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Mrs. Dashwood had written to Marianne after Elinor had written to her. In the letter, Mrs. Dashwood asked Marianne to be more open... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings left and Elinor began writing a letter to her mother. Then, Colonel Brandon came to the door. He... (full context)
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Elinor was shocked that Willoughby had done this, and Brandon told her, “His character is now... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Elinor told Marianne what she had learned from Colonel Brandon, but it didn’t cheer her up.... (full context)
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Mrs. Dashwood recommended that Elinor and Marianne not shorten their stay with Mrs. Jennings, as everything at Barton would likely... (full context)
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...her mother’s wishes. She thought that staying in London would at last be good for Elinor. Elinor, though, didn’t want to be in London where she might encounter Edward, but thought... (full context)
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Elinor did her best to keep anyone from mentioning Willoughby’s name around Marianne. Sir John was... (full context)
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Colonel Brandon often made “delicate, unobtrusive enquiries” about Marianne to Elinor, who began to value him as a friend. Mrs. Jennings noticed them spending time together... (full context)
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Early in February, Willoughby married Miss Grey, and Elinor informed Marianne. Marianne tried to control her emotions, but couldn’t help crying. Around this time,... (full context)
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Lucy and Anne came to talk with Elinor and Mrs. Jennings, speaking of their beaux and romantic conquests. Marianne left the room when... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Elinor finally persuaded Marianne to go out with her and Mrs. Jennings one morning. They went... (full context)
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Elinor walked up to the counter in the jewelry store, and was surprised to see her... (full context)
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Elinor walked with John to the Middletons’ home, and on the way he asked her about... (full context)
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...at Norland, which required the removal of a number of trees on the property, which Elinor and Marianne had been fond of. Elinor “kept her concern and censure to herself.” John... (full context)
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John asked Elinor what was wrong with Marianne. Elinor said that she had “a nervous complaint.” John said... (full context)
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John and Elinor made it to the Middletons, where “abundance of civilities passed on all sides.” John was... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Lucy came to join the group, and talked with Elinor about how anxious she was to see Edward in town. Not wanting their relationship to... (full context)
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John and Fanny invited Elinor, Marianne, Mrs. Jennings, the Steeles, and the Middletons to dinner. Mrs. Ferrars was supposed to... (full context)
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Before the dinner, Lucy told Elinor that Edward would not be able to attend, much to Elinor’s relief. At the dinner,... (full context)
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Mrs. Ferrars appeared to dislike Elinor, but Elinor did not care much, since she knew Mrs. Ferrars wouldn’t be her mother-in-law.... (full context)
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...dinner, people talked about whether John’s son Harry or Lady Middleton’s son William was taller. Elinor and Marianne were rather bored by this, and Marianne offended everyone by saying that she... (full context)
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Colonel Brandon admired the paintings. Mrs. Ferrars looked at them and upon hearing that Elinor had painted them, she dismissed them “without regarding them at all.” She instead began talking... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Elinor had seen enough of Mrs. Ferrars to get a sense of her character and was... (full context)
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Lucy thanked Elinor for her friendship. Elinor didn’t say much in response. Now that Lucy had a reason... (full context)
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...awkward for the three of them to be alone together. Lucy said practically nothing, and Elinor was forced to try to make polite conversation. After talking for a bit, she left... (full context)
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Marianne suggested that Edward take her and Elinor back to Barton in a couple weeks. Edward mumbled something that no one could here,... (full context)
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Edward left, and Lucy shortly after him. Marianne said to Elinor that it was odd Lucy stayed when it was clear she wasn’t wanted around. But... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...to a son. Because of this, Mrs. Jennings spent much time with the Palmers, and Elinor and Marianne often accompanied her, which meant they often had to spend much time with... (full context)
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Anne Steele was also not fond of Elinor and Marianne, but Mrs. Jennings was oblivious to all this and thought it was a... (full context)
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...with her sister to go to the party with Fanny. The party was unremarkable, but Elinor saw there the gentleman she had seen ordering the toothpick case at the jeweler. John... (full context)
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Robert was very different from Edward, and appeared to dislike Elinor, much like his mother. He said that Edward lacked social skills, because he had been... (full context)
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...John and Fanny returned home after the party, John suggested that they invite Marianne and Elinor to stay with them. Fanny objected because she had just decided to invite the Steeles... (full context)
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...her husband so easily, and wrote immediately to the Steeles. Lucy showed the invitation to Elinor excitedly, seeing it as further proof of how Edward’s family was fond of her. The... (full context)
Chapter 37
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About two weeks later, Mrs. Jennings told Elinor she had some news. She had been with Mrs. Palmer, whose baby was ill. They... (full context)
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Elinor was anxious to hear what Mrs. Ferrars would do when she found out about Edward’s... (full context)
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Marianne felt sorry for Elinor, but Elinor assured her that she was no longer sad over Edward and had come... (full context)
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Elinor made Marianne promise to be discreet and not give “the least appearance of bitterness” to... (full context)
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...younger brother Robert. He again said that he pitied Edward’s situation, and then left. Marianne, Elinor, and Mrs. Jennings all disapproved of how Mrs. Ferrars had handled the situation. (full context)
Chapter 38
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Mrs. Jennings, Elinor, and Marianne all felt compassion for Edward. For the next few days, they heard no... (full context)
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...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,”... (full context)
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The next morning, Elinor received a letter from Lucy, saying that she and Edward were happy together even after... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Elinor and Marianne had now been in London for over two months, and Marianne was impatient... (full context)
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After Elinor and Marianne made their plans, Colonel Brandon visited, and Mrs. Jennings told him about their... (full context)
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However, what Elinor and Brandon were actually talking about was Edward. Having learned that Edward had been disinherited... (full context)
Chapter 40
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As soon as Colonel Brandon left, Mrs. Jennings (thinking that Brandon had proposed to Elinor) told Elinor that she had overheard a bit of their conversation and she was overjoyed... (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings started to leave and Elinor asked her not to spread the news, until she had a chance to write to... (full context)
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After Mrs. Jennings left, Elinor tried to start writing to Edward, but was interrupted when Edward himself arrived at the... (full context)
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...gentleman.” Edward left to go see Brandon and thank him in person. As he left, Elinor thought that the next time she saw him he would probably be Lucy’s husband. (full context)
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Mrs. Jennings returned home and talked to Elinor more about what she thought was her engagement to Brandon. At last, she talked plainly... (full context)
Chapter 41
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Lucy and Edward were both equally happy and grateful to Elinor and Colonel Brandon. After this development, Elinor felt that she should pay a visit to... (full context)
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...was astonished about the news of Colonel Brandon’s gift and wondered what Brandon’s motive was. Elinor said Brandon simply wanted “to be of use to Mr. Ferrars.” John cautioned Elinor not... (full context)
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...that Mrs. Ferrars was “one of the most affectionate mothers in the world,” and told Elinor that now Robert was planning to marry Miss Morton. (full context)
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Elinor asked if Miss Morton had any choice in the matter, but John said that there... (full context)
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...Robert began talking of Edward. He laughed at the idea of Edward becoming a priest. Elinor couldn’t help but show her contempt for Robert in her expression. Robert said that he... (full context)
Chapter 42
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Before leaving London, Elinor saw John one more time, and he congratulated her on “travelling so far towards Barton... (full context)
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Elinor was surprised to find Mr. Palmer behaving gentlemanly and “found him very capable of being... (full context)
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...stockings, and came down with a terrible cold. She refused everyone’s advice for remedies, but Elinor finally persuaded her to try “one or two of the simplest of the remedies” before... (full context)
Chapter 43
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...day, Marianne seemed better, but that night she was feverish. As Mrs. Jennings had suggested, Elinor called for the Palmers’ apothecary. He came and said that Marianne would likely recover in... (full context)
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Marianne was upset that her illness was delaying her journey back home, but Elinor tried to cheer her up. The next day, Marianne was neither better nor worse. Mr.... (full context)
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Elinor stayed up all night by Marianne’s side, as she slept “more and more disturbed.” She... (full context)
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Colonel Brandon volunteered to go to Barton and get Mrs. Dashwood. Elinor was very grateful for his friendship and generosity. Elinor went back to Marianne’s side for... (full context)
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...Marianne was all right, and would recover. In the morning, Mrs. Jennings was upset that Elinor had not woken her up to tell her of Marianne’s worsening condition. She was genuinely... (full context)
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...Marianne seemed to be improving, and gradually got better over the course of the day. Elinor “could not be more cheerful” at her sister’s recovery. Marianne went to sleep early that... (full context)
Chapter 44
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Elinor was shocked and tried to walk away, but Willoughby asked her to listen to him... (full context)
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Elinor asked Willoughby to stop, but he continued explaining his behavior. He said that his fortune... (full context)
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...of the house before visiting and leaving his card. He said that he often watched Elinor and Marianne and just barely avoided running into them around town. He said that he... (full context)
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Willoughby said that he and Miss Grey did not love each other. Elinor admitted that she regarded him as slightly less guilty now. He asked her to tell... (full context)
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Willoughby now prepared to leave, and Elinor “forgave, pitied, wished him well.” He said that for him “domestic happiness” was “out of... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Elinor was greatly distressed to find herself pitying the man whom she had, until just recently,... (full context)
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...overcome by happiness upon seeing her daughters again and couldn’t help shedding tears of joy. Elinor was also delighted at the reunion. Elinor tried to sleep that night, but kept thinking... (full context)
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...the happiest women in the world.” When she got the chance to speak alone with Elinor, she said that she was overjoyed because Colonel Brandon told her that he loved Marianne.... (full context)
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...Mrs. Dashwood said that his love was “more sincere or constant” that that of Willoughby. Elinor agreed that Colonel Brandon was “an excellent man.” (full context)
Chapter 46
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...was well enough to leave her room. Colonel Brandon visited her in her room, and Elinor imagined that the scene reminded Brandon “of many past scenes of misery.” Mrs. Dashwood saw... (full context)
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...within the next few weeks. Marianne was cheerful on the trip back to Barton, and Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood did everything they could to “render her comfortable.” (full context)
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Elinor was glad to see this positive change in Marianne’s behavior, but was worried about having... (full context)
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Marianne said that her plan now was to live for her family. She told Elinor, “You, my mother, and Margaret, must henceforth be all the world to me.” She promised... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...part of his imputed guilt,” though she didn’t entirely forgive him. That evening, Marianne told Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood that the news about Willoughby was a relief and she was now... (full context)
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Elinor agreed that Willoughby would have made a bad husband for her, and called him selfish.... (full context)
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Margaret returned soon after this, and the Dashwood family was happily reunited. Meanwhile, Elinor “grew impatient for some tidings of Edward.” One day, she spoke with a servant, who... (full context)
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...the union. He said Lucy seemed well and very content. The servant departed, leaving Marianne, Elinor, and Mrs. Dashwood all feeling troubled. (full context)
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After dinner, Mrs. Dashwood realized that Elinor was greatly hurt, even though she tried to project a calm, collected demeanor. She worried... (full context)
Chapter 48
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Elinor now realized, by how much Edward’s wedding upset her, that she had always held an... (full context)
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Colonel Brandon was due to visit soon, and Elinor looked forward to his arrival, as he might have news of Edward. Just when Elinor... (full context)
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...silence, Mrs. Dashwood inquired after “Mrs. Ferrars,” and Edward said his mother was doing well. Elinor said that she had meant his wife, but Edward was confused, and asked if she... (full context)
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Edward explained that Lucy had married his brother Robert. On hearing this news, Elinor had to leave the room and “burst into tears of joy.” Edward “fell into a... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Edward’s purpose in coming to Barton Cottage was to propose to Elinor. About three hours after his arrival, the engagement was already arranged. He had long been... (full context)
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Edward explained to Elinor that he had foolishly fallen in love with Lucy when he was very young, and... (full context)
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Elinor, meanwhile, “was every thing by turns but tranquil.” Edward stayed at the cottage for a... (full context)
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Edward showed Elinor a letter he had received from Lucy while he was in Oxford. In the letter,... (full context)
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Elinor now realized that Lucy had meant to deceive her when she spoke to the servant... (full context)
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Elinor scolded Edward a bit for leading her on at Norland, when he was engaged to... (full context)
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Now that Edward and Elinor were “brought together by mutual affection,” the only remaining question for them was one of... (full context)
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...Marianne. He heard and wondered at the news of Lucy and Robert, and Edward and Elinor. Edward and Brandon “advanced in the good opinion of each other,” as they both stayed... (full context)
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Elinor received a letter from Mrs. Jennings about Lucy, which communicated “her honest indignation against the... (full context)
Chapter 50
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...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... (full context)
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Edward and Elinor were married in the fall and happily settled into their life at Delaford. All they... (full context)
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Mrs. Ferrars visited Edward and Elinor and made a pretense of “decent affection,” though her “real favour and preference” were for... (full context)
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...as well. Before long, Lucy and Robert were closer to Mrs. Ferrars than Edward and Elinor were. (full context)
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Elinor’s mother and sisters visited her often, so that her “marriage divided her as little from... (full context)
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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... (full context)