Notes on Sense and Sensibility Themes

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Sense and Sensibility Topic Tracking: Romance

Chapter 3

Romance 1: Mrs. Dashwood sees no difficulty in a marriage between two of different incomes. She believes that money should never keep lovers from being together.

Romance 2: For Marianne, a lover must be passionate and emotional. When Edward reads Cowper, Marianne's favorite poet, with so little excitement, he is fixed as a lackluster lover in her mind.

Chapter 4

Romance 3: Though Marianne seems certain of Edward's affection for Elinor, Elinor needs proof before she will get carried away.

Marianne cannot understand such a reserved attitude, and becomes greatly disturbed when Elinor says, "I think very highly of him--that I greatly esteem him." Chapter 4, pg. 17

Elinor holds back partly because of Edward's mother, on whom Edward's future, including any marriage, depends. Such practical considerations are foreign to Marianne.

Chapter 5

Romance 4: Marianne makes a tearful and excessive goodbye to Norland, in which she speaks to the house and land like it is a person, regretting how the leaves will fall without her.

Chapter 7

Romance 5: Marianne is especially shocked at Mrs. Jennings' jokes about lovers and husbands, which she sees as vulgar, an adjective she wants nowhere near romance.

Romance 6: Marianne imagines that a man of Colonel Brandon's age can no longer feel deeply or enjoy the arts, and therefore cannot be a lover.

Chapter 8

Romance 7: Marianne again says that a man of Colonel Brandon's age is to old to love, and that a woman of twenty-seven is also too old to make someone love her.

Chapter 9

Romance 8: In their first meeting, Willoughby acts as Marianne's "knight in shining armor," carrying her home in his arms.

Romance 9: Marianne, who is falling in love with Willoughby, is interested only in the qualities which would make him a suitable lover. Sir John, not surprisingly, cannot offer her much information on this topic.

Chapter 10

Romance 10: Colonel Brandon has little hope against the dashing young Willoughby. Though Elinor likes and respects the Colonel, Willoughby is much more Marianne's taste.

Romance 11: In defending the Colonel, Elinor remarks that a "sensible" man is very attractive to her. To Marianne, reason has nothing to do with a lover.

Chapter 11

Romance 12: Marianne is against all second attachments. She believes love is so strong that people can only be in love once. She does not seem to remember that she was born of her father's second marriage.

Chapter 12

Romance 13: Marianne believes that it does not take a long time to become intimate with a person. If they have the right personality, it can happen in moments.

Chapter 14

Romance 14: Willoughby eloquently expresses his love for the Cottage, and how it must never be changed, because something very special has touched his heart within its walls.

Chapter 16

Romance 15: Mrs. Dashwood, a big romantic, believes asking Marianne any practical questions about the engagement would be unkind, and out of character.

Romance 16: Both Elinor and Marianne are troubled by Edward's cold and reserved manner, which is not the behavior of a lover.

Chapter 18

Romance 17: Marianne feels very sorry for Elinor, because Edward does not go off in raptures about the hills of Barton.

Romance 18: To wear such a ring was a sign of great affection, and Elinor cannot imagine whose hair it could be but hers.

Chapter 20

Romance 19: Elinor is critical of Mr. Palmer, whose rude behavior seems to stem from his silly and annoying wife. Elinor thinks to herself that most men are married to the same kind of woman, and that he should get over it.

Chapter 31

Romance 20: The capacity to love which Marianne cannot imagine in the Colonel, he describes in his relationship with Eliza. Their elopement failed, and after she was forced to marry his brother, the Colonel went away so he would not have to see her. But his love for her outlasted their time apart, her divorce from his brother, and as it would seem, her death as well.

Chapter 37

Romance 21: Elinor, though she sees the appeal of one true love, realizes that this is impossible. Marianne remarks how such a belief must help her to handle the loss of Edward. Nothing about him or his character makes her want him less, but there is nothing she can do now but live her life and get over it.

Chapter 42

Romance 22: Marianne has difficulty leaving Mrs. Jennings' in London; it is where she last believed in Willoughby's love for her.

Chapter 44

Romance 23: Willoughby, whom Marianne loved so passionately and completely, is revealed to care little about love. He gave up his love in exchange for money, and his heart did not break, nor did he die, without her.

Chapter 45

Romance 24: During their long and nervous carriage ride, the Colonel told Mrs. Dashwood he loved Marianne. But he does not hold out much hope for her to return his love. Having been so much in love with Willoughby, and being so different in age and personality, he does not think it likely. Mrs. Dashwood does not believe this, though Elinor thinks it probable.

Chapter 49

Romance 25: Favoring practicality over singular passion, Elinor and Edward "...were neither of them quite enough in love to think that three hundred and fifty pounds-a-year would supply them with the comforts of life." Chapter 49, pg. 313

Chapter 50

Romance 26: Marianne, once so opposed to second attachments, gives her love completely to the Colonel. Her wild romantic ideas about passion and the one true love are quieted, and she is a good and loving wife.

Romance 27: Unlike the typical romantic character, Willoughby does not shrivel up and die when his love marries another. He goes on, his life not without pleasure.

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