Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 32 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Elinor told Marianne what she had learned from Colonel Brandon, but it didn’t cheer her up. Marianne was sad at “the loss of Willoughby’s character,” now that she knew him to be dishonest. Mrs. Dashwood, having learned of the news from Elinor, wrote letters back to Elinor and Marianne, expressing her concern and sympathy for Marianne.
Marianne is as sad at losing her ideal notion of Willoughby as a good person as she was at losing her relationship with him. Mrs. Dashwood, a loving and caring mother, extends her sympathy for her daughter.
Themes
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Mrs. Dashwood recommended that Elinor and Marianne not shorten their stay with Mrs. Jennings, as everything at Barton would likely remind Marianne of Willoughby, and she thought Marianne might find something to distract her and occupy her time in London. Additionally, John Dashwood was coming to London soon, and she wanted her daughters to see him.
Mrs. Dashwood is worried that all the reminders of Willoughby at Barton might be too much for the sensitive Marianne. She wants her daughters to spend time with their brother because he is family, but perhaps also so that they can possibly benefit from his social acquaintances.
Themes
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Marianne wanted to go home to “the personal sympathy of her mother,” but obeyed 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 that staying would be good for Marianne.
Marianne misses her caring mother. Each sister imagines that the other wants to stay in London. Although neither actually wants to be in London, each agrees to stay out of concern for the other.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Elinor did her best to keep anyone from mentioning Willoughby’s name around Marianne. Sir John was shocked when he heard about what happened, as he had always thought Willoughby was “a good-natured fellow.” Mrs. Palmer was upset on Marianne’s account, and said Willoughby was “good-for-nothing.”
Elinor tries to help Marianne by preventing their friends and acquaintances from mentioning Willoughby in her company. Sir John is shocked because he too thought well of Willoughby. Mrs. Palmer is quick to change her opinion of Willoughby’s character.
Themes
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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 and began to think that Brandon would propose not to Marianne, but to Elinor.
Colonel Brandon again displays his kind character and concern for Marianne. Always trying to pick up on romantic gossip, Mrs. Jennings comically misinterprets Brandon’s behavior.
Themes
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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, the Steeles came to London, and Elinor “was sorry to see them.”
Willoughby’s marriage is the final blow to any unlikely hopes Marianne might have had about him. Elinor and Marianne are in no mood to spend time in the company of the Steeles.
Themes
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
Lucy and Anne came to talk with Elinor and Mrs. Jennings, speaking of their beaux and romantic conquests. Marianne left the room when the Steeles arrived, and Elinor apologized on her behalf, saying that Marianne wasn’t feeling well and had been having “nervous head-aches.”
Lucy and Anne are much the same as the last time the Dashwoods saw them. Marianne is unable to pretend to be cheerful, and so Elinor must politely make excuses for her, as usual.
Themes
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Society and Strategy Theme Icon