Sense & Sensiblity: Elinor Dashwood

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Elinor Dashwood: Sensibility
Despite the fact that Marianne shows her emotions outwardly, Elinor Dashwoods heart and actions ultimately exemplifies sensibility in Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility. Elinor expresses this through her actions towards Colonel Brandon, Willoughby and Lucy, her expectations from a husband, and her forgiveness and marriage to Edward Ferrars. Elinor Dashwoods character is seen as a person who takes careful calculations of her actions, is very stable, and thinks before she reacts. It is important to understand that despite these characteristics Elinor is full of sensibility because then will the reader understand how Elinor ends up forgiving Edward and marrying him. In the opening of this novel Elinor’s father had just died and everything he owned was left in charge of her half-brother John Dashwood. Elinor being the oldest daughter must be very strong for her mother Mrs. Dashwood and her two sisters Elinor and Margaret Dashwood. Elinor being the type of person who is afraid of making a wrong decision for fear that it will affect her whole family looks to marry a gentleman of social and economic status.

Elinor, who outwardly epitomizes sense, would more likely marry someone who is financially stable. One day while Edward was visiting; Elinor and Marianne are having a conversation about what type of men they want. Elinor states, ‘"As moderate as those of the rest of the world, I believe. I wish as well as every body else to be perfectly happy; but, like every body else it must be in my own way. Greatness will not make me so." "Strange that it would!" cried Marianne. "What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness?" "Grandeur has but little," said Elinor, "but wealth has much to do with it."’ (Austen 90) Elinor seems to want someone who is stable and believes that wealth overshadows personality. Further into their conversation Elinor asks Marianne how much income she expects, Marianne answers, ‘"About eighteen...
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