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Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility


by Jane Austen

Mrs. Charlotte Palmer

Character Analysis

Mrs. Palmer is really a sweetheart. She's a giggly, silly, rather inane woman, but at her core she's a nice lady. Charlotte takes after her mother, Mrs. Jennings, in her love for gossip, and she wants nothing more than to visit with her friends and chat the day away. Marianne is often exasperated by her, and even Elinor's patience is stretched by Charlotte's exuberance.

It seems that the Dashwoods aren't the only ones who find Charlotte's company taxing at times. Her relationship with her husband, Mr. Palmer, is really pretty fascinating; in his dismissive attitude towards her, he seems to be kind of a sourpuss, but she just laughs off all of his bad social behavior, saying that he's the perfect man for her. However, when we see them at home, we (and Elinor) realize that Mr. and Mrs. Palmer do care for each other and for their child, even if they have a tough time showing it in public. They're an odd couple all right, but hey – if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? For all of her flaws and quirks, Charlotte is a well-intentioned young woman who loves her family, friends, and, more than anything, gossip.