The theme of Love and Marriage in Sense and Sensibility from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, the developing relationship between Marianne and. The Sense and Sensibility characters covered include: Colonel Brandon, Mrs. Edward develops a close relationship with Elinor while staying at Norland and. Edward Ferrars is a fictional character in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. He is the elder of Fanny Dashwood's two brothers and forms an attachment to Elinor Dashwood. As first described in Sense and Sensibility: "Edward Ferrars was not recommended to their good Despite the good common sense that links him to Elinor, he is able to attach.
She is more polite than Marianne, though her repugnance towards vulgarity and selfishness is quite equal; and thus she can "really love" the rather vulgar but good hearted Mrs.
Jennings, and be civil to people Marianne would be repulsed by—even people like Lucy Steele. Elinor's politeness not only reflects good manner, but also a concern for the feelings others.
Jennings' heart, she is not a woman whose society can afford us pleasure, or whose protection will give us consequence". All I have ever attempted to influence has been the behavior I am guilty, I confess, of having often wished you to treat our acquaintance in general with greater attention; but when have I advised you to adopt their sentiments or conform to their judgment in serious matters?
It was censure in common use, and easily given".
Though their father had asked John Dashwood, his son and the sisters' half-brother, to make sure the girls would be taken care of, he is swayed by his wife to give them a meager living and no dowry. As the sole son of Henry Dashwood from a previous marriageJohn Dashwood inherits their father's entire estate according to inheritance law.
He elicits Elinor's pity because his choice has made him unhappy, but she is disgusted by the callous way in which he talks of Miss Williams and his own wife.
He also reveals that his aunt said she would have forgiven him if he married Miss Williams but that he refused. Marianne recovers from her illness, and Elinor tells her of Willoughby's visit. Marianne realises that she could never have been happy with Willoughby's immoral, erratic, and inconsiderate ways. She values Elinor's more moderated conduct with Edward and resolves to model herself after Elinor's courage and good sense.
Edward arrives and reveals that, after his disinheritance, Lucy jilted him in favour of his now wealthy younger brother, Robert. Edward and Elinor marry, and later Marianne marries Colonel Brandon, having gradually come to love him.
The two couples live as neighbours, with both sisters and husbands in harmony with each other. Willoughby considers Marianne as his ideal but the narrator tells the reader not to suppose that he was never happy. She represents the "sense" half of Austen's title Sense and Sensibility. She is 19 years old at the beginning of the book. She becomes attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her elder half-brother, John.
She sympathetically befriends Colonel Brandon, Marianne's long-suffering admirer and eventual husband. Always feeling a keen sense of responsibility to her family and friends, she places their welfare and interests above her own and suppresses her own strong emotions in a way that leads others to think she is indifferent or cold-hearted.
For example, even though she is extremely distressed upon learning of Lucy Steele's secret engagement to Edward, Elinor keeps Lucy's secret and does not reveal her discomfort with the information. While the book's narrative style is 3rd person omniscient, it is Elinor's viewpoint that is primarily reflected. Thus, the description of most of the novel's characters and events reflects Elinor's thoughts and insights.
Marianne Dashwood — the romantically inclined and eagerly expressive second daughter of Mr and Mrs Henry Dashwood. Her emotional excesses identify her as the "sensibility" half of Austen's title. She is 16 years old at the beginning of the book. She is the object of the attentions of Colonel Brandon and Mr Willoughby. She is attracted to young, handsome, romantically spirited Willoughby and does not think much of the older, more reserved Colonel Brandon. Marianne undergoes the most development within the book, learning her sensibilities have been selfish.
She decides her conduct should be more like that of her elder sister, Elinor. Edward Ferrars — the elder of Fanny Dashwood's two brothers.
He forms an attachment to Elinor Dashwood. Years before meeting the Dashwoods, Ferrars proposed to Lucy Steele, the niece of his tutor. The engagement has been kept secret owing to the expectation that Ferrars' family would object to his marrying Miss Steele. He is disowned by his mother on discovery of the engagement after refusing to give it up. John Willoughby — a philandering nephew of a neighbour of the Middletons, a dashing figure who charms Marianne and shares her artistic and cultural sensibilities.
It is generally presumed by many of their mutual acquaintances that he is engaged to marry Marianne partly due to her own overly familiar actions, i. He is also contrasted by Austen as being " He is 35 years old at the beginning of the book.
He falls in love with Marianne at first sight, as she reminds him of his father's ward whom he had fallen in love with when he was young. He is prevented from marrying the ward because his father was determined she marry his older brother.
He was sent into the military abroad to be away from her, and while gone, the girl suffered numerous misfortunes—partly as a consequence of her unhappy marriage. She finally dies penniless and disgraced, and with a natural i. He is a very honourable friend to the Dashwoods, particularly Elinor, and offers Edward Ferrars a living after Edward is disowned by his mother. Minor characters[ edit ] Henry Dashwood — a wealthy gentleman, man of sternness who dies at the beginning of the story.
The terms of his estate — entailment to a male heir — prevent him from leaving anything to his second wife and their children. He asks John, his son by his first wife, to look after meaning ensure the financial security of his second wife and their three daughters. Mrs Dashwood — the second wife of Henry Dashwood, who is left in difficult financial straits by the death of her husband.
She is 40 years old at the beginning of the book. Much like her daughter Marianne, she is very emotive and often makes poor decisions based on emotion rather than reason. She is thirteen at the beginning of the book. She is also romantic and good-tempered but not expected to be as clever as her sisters when she grows older.
Edward Ferrars - Wikipedia
John Dashwood — the son of Henry Dashwood by his first wife. He intends to do well by his half-sisters, but he has a keen sense of avariceand is easily swayed by his wife. She is vain, selfish, and snobbish. She spoils her son Harry. She is very harsh to her husband's half-sisters and stepmother, especially since she fears her brother Edward is attached to Elinor. Sir John Middleton — a distant relative of Mrs Dashwood who, after the death of Henry Dashwood, invites her and her three daughters to live in a cottage on his property.
Described as a wealthy, sporting man who served in the army with Colonel Brandon, he is very affable and keen to throw frequent parties, picnics, and other social gatherings to bring together the young people of their village. He and his mother-in-law, Mrs Jennings, make a jolly, teasing, and gossipy pair. Lady Middleton — the genteel, but reserved wife of Sir John Middleton, she is quieter than her husband, and is primarily concerned with mothering her four spoiled children.
A widow who has married off all her children, she spends most of her time visiting her daughters and their families, especially the Middletons. She and her son-in-law, Sir John Middleton, take an active interest in the romantic affairs of the young people around them and seek to encourage suitable matches, often to the particular chagrin of Elinor and Marianne. Robert Ferrars — the younger brother of Edward Ferrars and Fanny Dashwood, he is most concerned about status, fashion, and his new barouche.
He subsequently marries Miss Lucy Steele after Edward is disinheritedbut whether he will remain his mother's heir since his brother was disinherited for having been engaged to Miss Lucy Steele in the first place is not revealed.
A bad-tempered, unsympathetic woman who embodies all the foibles demonstrated in Fanny and Robert's characteristics. If he had taken up a profession as a young man, he now would have an opportunity for independence. Inaction, therefore, results from his failure to assert himself. Since he exerts no autonomy in the choice of his profession, he believes he has lost his chance for independence.
In this last phrase, Edward offers the logic behind his inability to act in the pursuit of happiness. This inaction places him in the idle condition that prompts his despondency. At this first stage of his moral development, Edward alternates between the exercise of sense and of sensibility as he desperately tries to balance his desire for happiness and his commitment to uphold his honor.
This tension is evident to Edward, even as he begins to develop feelings for Elinor. Edward admits his imprudence, but his explanation reveals his thought process: I felt that I admired you, but I told myself it was only friendship; and till I began to make comparisons between yourself and Lucy, I did not know how far I was got.
After that, I suppose, I was wrong in remaining so much in Sussex, and the arguments with which I reconciled myself to the expediency of it, were no better than these: His sense, therefore, would protect against his sensibility. He realizes the foolishness of this construct when he does recognize that he has developed feelings for Elinor. Rather than abide by the sense in which he has formerly put such faith, Edward allows his sensibility to lead him as he remains in the company of Elinor and her family.
He justifies this exercise of sensibility with another foolish conviction—that he is hurting no one but himself. Edward submits to a sensibility of the same selfish character as that to which Marianne submits when she continually cultivates her wretchedness despite the sufferings of her mother and of her sister Consumed with his emotions, Edward remains insensible to the feelings of Elinor and to the expectations he raises by his attentions to her. He inclines toward sensibility when he chooses to accept Mrs.
His own emotions so overwhelm him that he does not fathom that his presence might have an ill effect on Elinor.Sense and Sensibility-Elinor
In visiting Barton, Edward, like Willoughby, thinks only of his own amusement. Although he fully intends to marry Lucy, as evinced by the ring he wears containing her hair, he comes to Barton, again selfishly thinking that he harms no one but himself.
Upon his arrival, however, he seems to realize his mistake, as he reverts to the shy reserve he exhibited upon his first acquaintance with Elinor. Sense, therefore, displaces sensibility and begins to direct his conduct. Indeed, at first, Edward even refuses to participate actively in standard conversation. Even when he does begin to open up to the family, his behavior around Elinor is guarded, as he denies himself every opportunity to be alone with her He lies both to protect his engagement and, more important, to protect himself in the eyes of the Dashwoods By telling the truth, Edward could have informed Elinor of the impossibility of their attachment.
Instead, insensible to her feelings, he unconsciously strengthens her conviction that such an attachment is inevitable. Austen contrasts his happiness at Barton with his responsibility to remain loyal to Lucy. Never had any week passed so quickly—he could hardly believe it to be gone. He said so repeatedly; other things he said too, which marked the turn of his feelings and gave the lie to his actions.
He had no pleasure at Norland; he detested being in town; but either to Norland or London, he must go. He valued their kindness beyond any thing, and his greatest happiness was in being with them.
Yet he must leave them at the end of a week, in spite of their wishes and his own, and without any restraint on his time. This ebb and flow of sense and sensibility, thus far personified in Edward, ends in the second stage of his moral development as the disclosure of his engagement to Lucy Steele compels him to act in preservation of his honor.