Summary and Analysis
Mrs. Ferrars was finally reconciled to Edward and gave him a settlement of ten thousand pounds: "It was as much . . . as was desired, and more than was expected, by Edward and Elinor." Robert procured the forgiveness of his mother "by the simple expedient of asking it." Lucy, too, was clever enough to win the favor of her mother-in-law and was soon raised "to the highest state of affection and influence."
Elinor and Edward married and stayed at Colonel Brandon's house until the parsonage was ready. When they were settled, her mother and sisters spent much more than half their time there, "Mrs. Dashwood . . . acting on motives of policy as well as pleasure," for she wanted to throw Marianne and Colonel Brandon together as much as possible.
Eventually, Marianne married Colonel Brandon, who "was now as happy as all those who best loved him believed he deserved to be. . . . Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby."
Willoughby always thought of Marianne with regret. As further punishment, Mrs. Smith forgave him, and he realized that had he married Marianne he could have been both rich and happy. He cannot be said to have been totally unhappy, for he had his hunting and dogs and the occasional good humor of his wife.
Mrs. Dashwood remained at Barton Cottage, for "Margaret had reached an age highly suitable for dancing, and not very ineligible for being supposed to have a lover."
Mrs. Dashwood's sensibility and her concern for her daughters' happiness contrast strongly with Mrs. Ferrars' attitude towards her sons. Selfish, designing, and coldhearted, she approaches burlesque in her habit of disinheriting them.
But the contrast is even greater between the warm bonds of feeling that link Elinor and her husband with Marianne and the colonel, and the coolness and jealousy that exist between Robert and Lucy and Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood.
Everyone ironically gets what they deserve. The hypocritical Lucy can be called the perfect mate for Robert and the perfect attendant for Mrs. Ferrars. Willoughby has his dogs and his money. Colonel Brandon, older and reserved, is treated to a youthful and refreshing mate — and she to a strong and protective husband. Mrs. Dashwood is left with the delightful task of marrying off another daughter. And Edward, who has narrowly escaped a lifetime of punishment for the follies of his youth, is assured a life of happiness with a woman who is as different from Lucy as he is from his brother.