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Sense and Sensibility Summary

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Sense and Sensibility Summary February 2nd, 2018Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen starts off at Norland Park, where Mr. Dashwood has just passed away and left his fortune to this nephew’s son, John Dashwood. Despite John Dashwood’s promise with his father to take care of his stepmother and stepsisters with the money that he inherited, his uncaring and selfish wife, Fanny Ferrars, looks down upon the Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret.

Before Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters are offered to live at Barton Cottage by her cousin Sir John, Elinor develops feelings for Fanny’s brother, Edward, but is hesitant to express her feelings before he does. At Barton Cottage, Colonel Brandon, Sir John’s friend, falls in love with Marianne, but she feels that he is too old for her to love. Marianne does fall in love with Willoughby, who carries her home after she twists her ankle on a rainy day. The two publicly express their love for each other until he suddenly leaves to London and leaves Marianne behind. In the meantime, the Dashwood daughters are introduced to Anne and Lucy Steele, and Elinor finds out that Lucy and Edward have been secretly engaged. Elinor respects the secrecy of Lucy and Edward’s engagement and does not speak a word about it until their relationship becomes public, at which point Edward’s mother is frustrated and decides to pass her inheritance to his brother, Robert. Marianne reunites with Willoughby, who had not replied to her letters, at a party in London, but he rejects the fact that he was ever in love with her. She additionally finds out that Willoughby is engaged to Ms. Grey, particularly for money and fortune. Upon finding out that Willoughby is engaged to another woman, Marianne wishes to go home and the Dashwood sisters visit Cleveland on their way home.

When Marianne gets sick in Cleveland, Willoughby comes to visit and tells Elinor that he still loves Marianne but had to marry Ms. Grey for her money. Once Elinor tells Marianne about Willoughby’s confession, she feels better knowing that he did not abandon her because he did not love her. Back at Barton Cottage, the daughters find out that Lucy Steele is now engaged with Mr. Ferrars. Elinor assumes that Mr. Ferrars refers to Edward, but Edward comes to Barton to tell Elinor that Lucy actually fell in love with his brother, Robert, after Mrs. Ferrars decided to give her inheritance to him. No longer engaged to Lucy, Edward finally proposes to Elinor and the two decide to live at Delaford, which Colonel Brandon graciously offers. Soon later, Colonel Brandon also gets engaged to Marianne and decide to move into Delaford with Edward and Elinor. Despite the misunderstandings and secret engagements that deterred these relationships from forming throughout the novel, Edward and Elinor, as well as Marianne and Colonel Brandon live happily together, maintaining tight relationships with the rest of the Dashwood family.

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