Sense and Sensibility
Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Lady Middleton expressed her sense of the affair about once every day, or twice, if the subject occurred very often, by saying, "It is very shocking indeed!" and by the means of this continual though gentle vent, was able not only to see the Miss Dashwoods from the first without the smallest emotion, but very soon to see them without recollecting a word of the matter; and having thus supported the dignity of her own sex, and spoken her decided censure of what was wrong in the other, she thought herself at liberty to attend to the interest of her own assemblies, and therefore determined (though rather against the opinion of Sir John), that as Mrs. Willoughby would at once be a woman of elegance and fortune, to leave her card with her as soon as she married. (32.13)
Lady Middleton, heartless social climber that she is, proves that social status is more important to her than feelings. Even though Marianne is theoretically her friend, she'd rather throw over the Dashwoods in exchange for the acquaintance of the rich and powerful future Mrs. Willoughby.
Lady Middleton was equally pleased with Mrs. Dashwood. There was a kind of cold-hearted selfishness on both sides, which mutually attracted them; and they sympathised with each other in an insipid propriety of demeanour, and a general want of understanding. (34.2)
This is a match made in heaven. Both Fanny and Lady Middleton are cold, self-centered, and only concerned with social status – in other words, they're not nice people, but they love each other (because they love themselves).