Sense and Sensibility By Jane Austen Summary and Analysis Chapters 40-41

Summary

Mrs. Jennings questioned Elinor about her talk with Colonel Brandon, and the two women were soon at cross purposes. Mrs. Jennings was left with the impression that Elinor and the colonel wanted Edward to perform their wedding ceremony. Before she learned the truth, Edward called and was greatly surprised to learn from Elinor of the colonel's offer of the Delaford living. He was most grateful, naturally concluding that Elinor had played some part in the offer. When he left to go and thank the colonel, Mrs. Jennings returned. During a talk with Elinor, they both realized her misunderstanding about the engagement and were much amused.

Edward thanked the colonel and proceeded to tell Lucy his news. She was "able to reassure Mrs. Jennings, who called on her again the next day with her congratulations, that she had never seen him in such spirits before in her life."

Elinor, out of courtesy, went to call on her sister-in-law and found her half-brother at home. He told her that she would be pleased to know that Mrs. Ferrars would have even preferred Elinor to Lucy Steele. When Elinor made no comment, John again alluded to a match between her and Colonel Brandon. While Elinor was still there, Robert Ferrars turned up, and his patronizing and unfeeling attitude towards Edward confirmed "her most unfavourable opinion of his head and heart."

Analysis

Country squires like Colonel Brandon, who had the power to bestow livings, often accepted money from those who wished to be given a living on the death of the incumbent. As John Dashwood said, they sometimes received as much as fourteen hundred pounds. Sometimes parents or guardians bought a living for a young man, and a clergyman was employed temporarily until the youth was grown up and ordained.

Elinor again shows her strength of character by visiting the "ailing" Mrs. Dashwood, who has treated her so badly.

Robert is confirmed as the shallow fop he appeared to be on their first meeting at Gray's. He has no sympathy for his brother, finding Edward's sad situation a source of laughter and contempt.

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After Elinor and Marianne are married, Mrs. Dashwood




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