Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

John Dashwood Character Analysis

The half-brother of the Dashwood sisters. John likes to think of himself as kind and generous, but his behavior proves him to be actually rather greedy. He doesn’t help his sisters, financially or otherwise, even after promising his dying father to help them. He is easily persuaded and even bossed around by his wife Fanny, and is greatly concerned with social status and prestige.

John Dashwood Quotes in Sense and Sensibility

The Sense and Sensibility quotes below are all either spoken by John Dashwood or refer to John 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 37 Quotes

All that Mrs. Ferrars could say to make him put an end to the engagement, assisted too as you may well suppose by my arguments, and Fanny's entreaties, was of no avail. Duty, affection, every thing was disregarded. I never thought Edward so stubborn, so unfeeling before. His mother explained to him her liberal designs, in case of his marrying Miss Morton; told him she would settle on him the Norfolk estate, which, clear of land-tax, brings in a good thousand a-year; offered even, when matters grew desperate, to make it twelve hundred; and in opposition to this, if he still persisted in this low connection, represented to him the certain penury that must attend the match. His own two thousand pounds she protested should be his all; she would never see him again; and so far would she be from affording him the smallest assistance, that if he were to enter into any profession with a view of better support, she would do all in her power to prevent him advancing in it.

Related Characters: John Dashwood (speaker), Fanny Dashwood, Edward Ferrars, Mrs. Ferrars, Miss Morton
Page Number: 249-250
Explanation and Analysis:

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John Dashwood Character Timeline in Sense and Sensibility

The timeline below shows where the character John Dashwood appears in Sense and Sensibility. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Women in Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Henry Dashwood’s son, John Dashwood, had a substantial fortune from his mother’s family, which he increased through marriage. Thus,... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
Henry Dashwood passed away only a year later, and on his deathbed asked John to look out for and help his daughters. The narrator says that John lacked the... (full context)
Chapter 2
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John’s wife Fanny became the mistress of Norland, and Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters became mere... (full context)
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
Fanny disapproved of John’s plan to give his sisters 3000 pounds. She asked him to reconsider and said that... (full context)
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Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
John told his wife that he couldn’t disobey his fathers dying request, but Fanny said that... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Women in Society Theme Icon
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...long time and they would end up losing a great deal of money. She cautioned John against agreeing to such an annuity. John agreed that annuities were unwise and thought he... (full context)
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Society and Strategy Theme Icon
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...really didn’t need any money from him and already had enough for a comfortable life. John quickly changed his mind and decided to give his sisters nothing other than some occasional... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...Mrs. Dashwood liked, but that were too expensive for them. Mrs. Dashwood had learned of John’s promise to his father, and so was confident that he would help her and her... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Women in Society Theme Icon
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This would have been a good time for John to help his sisters as he had promised his father he would, but Fanny persuaded... (full context)
Chapter 24
Society and Strategy Theme Icon
...Elinor that Edward desired to become a priest and she asked Elinor to ask if John Dashwood would allow Edward to live at Norland. Then, he would have enough of a... (full context)
Chapter 32
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
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...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. (full context)
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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... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...up to the counter in the jewelry store, and was surprised to see her brother, John Dashwood. He said that he had arrived in London two days ago, but hadn’t had... (full context)
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The next day, John visited his sisters, though Fanny was unable to join him. John was kind and polite... (full context)
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Elinor walked with John to the Middletons’ home, and on the way he asked her about Colonel Brandon. He... (full context)
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Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
John mentioned that Edward Ferrars was to be married soon, as his mother had matched him... (full context)
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John described his plans for a green-house at Norland, which required the removal of a number... (full context)
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John asked Elinor what was wrong with Marianne. Elinor said that she had “a nervous complaint.”... (full context)
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John and Elinor made it to the Middletons, where “abundance of civilities passed on all sides.”... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...known, the two had not yet met up in London, though Edward had arrived with John and Fanny. Shortly after this, Elinor found Edward’s card left at Mrs. Jennings’ home twice.... (full context)
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John and Fanny invited Elinor, Marianne, Mrs. Jennings, the Steeles, and the Middletons to dinner. Mrs.... (full context)
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After dinner, people talked about whether John’s son Harry or Lady Middleton’s son William was taller. Elinor and Marianne were rather bored... (full context)
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Marianne’s outburst offended John, Fanny, and Mrs. Ferrars. Colonel Brandon, though, seemed to admire Marianne’s protective affection for her... (full context)
Chapter 36
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Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...for the girls to socialize together. Around this time, a friend of Fanny sent her, John, Elinor, and Marianne an invitation to a party, thinking that Elinor and Marianne were staying... (full context)
Character, Sense, and Sensibility Theme Icon
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...Elinor saw there the gentleman she had seen ordering the toothpick case at the jeweler. John introduced him to her as Robert Ferrars, Edward’s brother. (full context)
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When John and Fanny returned home after the party, John suggested that they invite Marianne and Elinor... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...Mrs. Palmer, whose baby was ill. They called a doctor, who had just been at John and Fanny’s home. As he was leaving Mrs. Jennings asked him if he had any... (full context)
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...least appearance of bitterness” to Lucy or anyone else over the situation. The next morning, John came to visit, and described how Mrs. Ferrars suffered and was “in agony” when she... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Wealth, Class, and Greed Theme Icon
...this, as Lucy was her cousin, and said that she would make a good wife. John told her that he did not dislike Lucy, but that “the connection must be impossible.”... (full context)
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John said that all of Edward’s inheritance had now gone to his younger brother Robert. He... (full context)
Chapter 38
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Anne spoke of how rudely Mrs. Ferrars, John, and Fanny behaved with the matter of Edward’s engagement, before having to leave. When Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 41
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...Fanny, even though she did not particularly want to see her. She went alone and John invited her in to see Fanny. (full context)
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John was astonished about the news of Colonel Brandon’s gift and wondered what Brandon’s motive was.... (full context)
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John said that Mrs. Ferrars was unaware of the recent news and said that he thought... (full context)
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Elinor asked if Miss Morton had any choice in the matter, but John said that there was no difference between Robert and Edward from her point of view,... (full context)
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At this point, Robert Ferrars entered. John went to go get Fanny, and Robert began talking of Edward. He laughed at the... (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 without any... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...for the contempt with which she treated the kindness of Mrs. Jennings and even Fanny, John, the Steeles, and the Middletons. (full context)
Chapter 49
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...Lucy, which communicated “her honest indignation against the jilting girl,” and her pity for Edward. John also wrote Elinor a letter, saying how unfortunate Mrs. Ferrars was, as neither of her... (full context)
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Seeing John’s letter, Edward now determined to “attempt a reconciliation” with his mother, though he did not... (full context)
Chapter 50
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...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... (full context)