Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Within four days of Mrs. Dashwood’s arrival, Marianne 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 his gentle behavior toward Marianne as more evidence of his love for her.
With her knowledge of Brandon’s past, Elinor knows that the sight of the sick Marianne must remind him of Eliza. Mrs. Dashwood sees in his gentle behavior more proof of his love for Marianne.
Themes
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A couple of days later, Marianne was ready to travel back to Barton. Colonel Brandon offered to let the Dashwoods use his carriage, and promised to visit the cottage 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.”
Colonel Brandon once again demonstrates his generosity. Now that the loving Dashwood family (except for Margaret) is reunited, Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood do all they can to help Marianne recover and feel better.
Themes
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As they approached Barton, where “every field and every tree brought some peculiar, some painful recollection,” Marianne grew quiet and began to cry. Nonetheless, when they got home, she did her best to smile and be cheerful. She eagerly awaited Margaret’s return home, so that their family would be reunited. She planned to spend her time reading and going on long walks.
Marianne’s sentimental nature means that she is particularly affected by painful memories of Willoughby. However, she is now making an effort to moderate her emotions, as Elinor has often encouraged her to do. She is excited for all of her sisters and her mother to be together again.
Themes
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Elinor was glad to see this positive change in Marianne’s behavior, but was worried about having to share Willoughby’s revelation with her. One morning, Marianne and Elinor went for a walk together. They walked by where Marianne had first met Willoughby when she fell and he picked her up. Marianne said that she was no longer sad to think of him, but only wished she could know that he had not always been deceiving her.
Marianne is reminded of her past with Willoughby, but seems now to have matured and is able to restrain her sadness.
Themes
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Marianne said that her recent illness made her think about her past and her life. She realized that she had behaved imprudently with Willoughby, and that she had brought on her own illness by her “negligence of [her] own health.” Looking back on her life, she felt bad for the contempt with which she treated the kindness of Mrs. Jennings and even Fanny, John, the Steeles, and the Middletons.
Now that Marianne has had time to reflect on her behavior, she vows to improve her impulsive, often socially inappropriate character.
Themes
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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 to restrain her emotions with reason. Elinor took this opportunity to relate Willoughby’s recent explanation for his behavior. Marianne listened to the whole story as they walked back home and when they went inside she simply kissed Elinor graciously and told her to tell their mother, as well.
Marianne plans now to devote her love to her family, which has always supported her. She will now try to reign in her sensibility with some of Elinor’s sense. She appears to receive the news about Willoughby remarkably calmly.
Themes
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Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon