Book Data Sheet – Sense and Sensibility
Setting – The setting for Sense and Sensibility is in England in the early 1800s, somewhere in a country setting. During this time, your social class and wealth was very important. The main classes were the wealthy people or the ‘lesser gentry’. The Dashwoods were part of the lesser gentry.
Mrs. Dashwood – Mother of Elinor, Marianne and Margret. Is a romantic, wants the best for her daughters.
Elinor Dashwood – Daughter of Mr/Mrs. Dashwood. Heroine of the novel. Composed yet affectionate.
Henry Dashwood – Father of John Dashwood and the girls. Dies in the beginning.
Fanny Dashwood – wife of John Dashwood. Selfish, snobby and manipulative.
John Dashwood – Heir to the Norland Estate. Weak-minded, money hungry.
Margret Dashwood – youngest daughter of Mr/Mrs Henry Dashwood. Shares her sister’s romantic tendencies.
Marianne Dashwood – second daughter of Mr/Mrs. Henry Dashwood. Spontaneous, sensible.
Mrs. Ferras – Mother of Edward and Robert. Wealthy, manipulative. Disinherits son for marrying below status.
Edward Ferras – Older brother of Fanny and Robert. Sensible.
Robert Ferras – younger brother of Edward and Fanny. A coxcomb.
Miss Sophia Grey – heiress who marries Willoughby. Wealthy.
Mrs. Jennings – Mother of Lady Middleton. Gossipy.
Lady Middleton – distant relative of the Dashwoods
Sir John Middleton – distant relative of the Dashwoods. Vulgar.
John Willoughby – Marianne’s crush. Attractive but deceitful.
- wealth vs. poverty
- passion vs. reason
- marrying for love vs. for security
Elinor represents sense and reason while Marianne has a romantic and passionate nature. Marianne believes Colonel Brandon is too old and sensible for her and also is passionate for John Willoughby, but is later rejected by him. Then later, it is known that he rejected her because he needed to marry in order to secure his place in society. Elinor abandons reason briefly and falls in love with Edward Ferras, but when she’s rejected, she blames herself for abandoning her sensibility. Edward decides to follow his heart rather than his mother’s wishes and returns to Elinor.
1. Devolve – (v) to lower in power
2. Moiety – (n) a lesser share of something else.
3. Prudent – (adj) acting with or showing care and thought for the future 4. Amiable – (adj) a friendly and pleasant manner
5. Alloy – (v) make (something) worse by adding something inferior to the mix. 6. Indecorous – (adj) Not decorous; not in keeping with good taste and propriety; imprope 7. Diffident – (adj) modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence 8. Barouche – (n) a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible hood over the rear half, a seat in front for the driver, and seats facing each other for the passengers, used esp. in the 19th century. 9. Innate – (adj) inborn; natural
10. Aggrandizement – (n) an increase in the power, status, or wealth of 11. Insinuation – (n) an unpleasant hint or suggestion of something bad 12. Demense – (n) land attached to a manor and retained for the owner's own use 13. Pique – (v.t.) to pride oneself
14. Insipid – (adj) lacking interest or taste
15. Censure – (v.t.) express severe disapproval of (someone or something)
Theme – ‘Status is more important than love.’
Throughout the whole novel, the more important part of finding someone to marry is marrying someone that is good enough for you to keep your status in society.
Passages – Volume 2, Chapter 5: Mrs. Jennings too enthusiastic to be careful and was having too much fun to notice what was important. But, she was also very wise, and had a strength of character and will.
Elinor had learned of her engagement to Edward Ferrars from Lucy, and Marianne was seeking explanation from Willoughby. Elinor couldn’t say anything about the engagement because Lucy swore her to secrecy....
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