| Quote #1
[Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars] wanted to him to make a fine figure in the world in some manner or other. His mother wished to interest him in political concerns, to get him into parliament, or to see him connected with some of the great men of the day. Mrs. John Dashwood wished it likewise; but in the mean while, till one of these superior blessings could be attained, it would have quieted her ambition to see him driving a barouche. But Edward had no turn for great men or barouches. All his wishes centered in domestic comfort and the quiet of private life. (3.6)
Edward's dreams and hopes aren't terribly dramatic ones – rather, he just longs for a nice, normal, quiet life. While one might deride this for being unambitious and small-minded, one could alternately see it as a refreshing break from the pushy, social climbing ambition of his mom and sister.
| Quote #2
Edward is very amiable, and I love him tenderly. But yet, he is not the kind of young man -- there is a something wanting, his figure is not striking -- it has none of that grace which I should expect in the man who could seriously attach my sister. His eyes want all that spirit, that fire, which at once announce virtue and intelligence. And besides all this, I am afraid, mama, he has no real taste. Music seems scarcely to attract him, and though he admires Elinor's drawings very much, it is not the admiration of a person who can understand their worth. It is evident, in spite of his frequent attention to her while she draws, that in fact he knows nothing of the matter. He admires as a lover, not as a connoisseur. To satisfy me, those characters must be united. I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both. (3.11)
Marianne shows us her dreams for the future here – she clearly has a mystery man already composed in her mind, and is just waiting for him to show up in real life.
| Quote #3
His person and air were equal to what her fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favourite story; and in his carrying her into the house with so little previous formality, there was a rapidity of thought which particularly recommended the action to her. Every circumstance belonging to him was interesting. His name was good, his residence was in their favourite village, and she soon found out that of all manly dresses a shooting-jacket was the most becoming. Her imagination was busy, her reflections were pleasant, and the pain of a sprained ankle was disregarded. (9.11)
Marianne's imagination is so prepared for her dream lover to arrive that she seizes upon Willoughby instantly when he shows up – he seems like the right fit. She practically decides that she's in love with him before she even knows him at all.