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Free Study Guide-Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES

CHAPTER 14

Summary

Puzzled about his hasty departure, Mrs. Jennings. shows concern for the Colonel. Elinor feels anxious about Marianne and wonders why she has not disclosed her engagement to her mother. Willoughby visits them everyday and displays his affection for Marianne. On one of his visits, he reveals his attachment to Barton Cottage and asks Mrs. Dashwood not to make changes there.

Notes

A few more facts about Colonel Brandon are revealed. Mrs. Jennings talks about his estate at Delaford and about his relatives. Her dropping hints about the family and fortune of Colonel Brandon enhances the desire of the reader to know more about this elusive character.

Elinor is concerned about Marianne and her relationship with Willoughby. Though she is aware of their mutual affection, she is not sure about the seriousness of their relationship; Marianne has not spoken about it to any one of them.


Willoughby displays another facet of his personality. He can be very sentimental. He talks about his deep attachment to Barton Cottage and shows concern when Mrs. Dashwood expresses her desire to renovate it. He also expresses his gratitude towards them for their kindness. Through his words and actions, he hints at his emotional involvement with Marianne.

CHAPTER 15

Summary

Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor and Margaret make their customary visit to the Park. On their return, they are shocked to see Marianne looking dejected and flustered. Willoughby informs them about his decision to leave for London immediately. However, his explanation for this sudden departure does not convince Elinor. She suspects something more serious. Mrs. Dashwood is not so pessimistic. Marianne drowns herself in sorrow but refrains from talking about it.

Notes

The cheerful atmosphere of Barton Cottage is disrupted. Marianne, who had been blissful in the company of Willoughby, now looks miserable. Since she does not reveal anything about Willoughby's conversation with her before his departure to London, mystery shrouds their relationship. The incident casts a cloud over the family. Elinor is puzzled at Willoughby's change of behavior with Marianne and at his sudden plans to visit London. She suspects Willoughby's intentions and is doubtful of his integrity. Mrs. Dashwood, too, is disturbed although she does not share Elinor's view.

Jane Austen frequently reminds the reader about Elinor's superior sense and reasoning ability. After observing Willoughby before his departure, she tries to analyze his behavior and his decision to take leave of them so abruptly. Willoughby, who had always spoken openly about all matters, could have revealed the real reason behind his visit to London unless he desperately needed to conceal something. Mrs. Dashwood, blinded by her faith in Willoughby, refuses to entertain negative thoughts about him. She feels sure of Willoughby's feelings for her daughter and hopes for the best.

CHAPTER 16

Summary

Marianne broods over her plight but hardly talks about Willoughby. Sometimes she inadvertently reveals her feelings for him. One morning, as they are walking in the countryside, they are surprised to encounter Edward Ferrars, who has arrived to visit them at Barton. Marianne is delighted to meet him and is glad for her sister. She welcomes Edward with open arms.

Notes

Marianne isolates herself from the others and becomes engulfed in a cloud of gloom. By sulking over her fate, she disturbs the peace of her family. She lacks restraint and has no regard for the others in her family.

Willoughby exits from the scene and Edward enters. Willoughby's departure had disturbed the members of the Dashwood family, but Edward's visit gladdens them: Edward's arrival at Barton is like a streak of sunlight in an overcast sky. His presence even manages to lift Marianne out of her depression. She forgets her sorrow for the moment and welcomes him. His visit seems to offer her some consolation. She talks to him animatedly and asks him about Norland.

Elinor is elated to see Edward but shows restraint in her behavior towards him. She keeps her emotions in control and tries to react normally to the situation.

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