1. Why is Elinor presented as the one who will make the right decisions for the Dashwoods?
Because she is the one who has the brains and therefore the sense to make the right decisions. Marianne on the other hand is ruled by her emotions, or in the context of the novel, her sensibility.
2. Do you think John and Fanny have illegitimate reasons for not giving money to the Dashwood's?
John has already made a promise to his father that he will support his sisters and stepmother. Though Fanny states a need to look after their son Harry's welfare, this just an excuse and John has enough money to support everyone and live comfortably. Therefore, it is likely his motivation is greed.
3. Do you think Mrs. Dashwood's love of her daughter holds them back?
Unlike many of the characters in the book, Mrs. Dashwood only wants the best for her daughters and is not motivated by money. She supports them when they show an interest in a man, even if she thinks they are not necessary a good match, and further supports them if it goes wrong. Her daughter's respond positively and seemed destined to find happiness.
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