Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility The Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Mrs. Dashwood remained at Norland several months; not from any disinclination to move when the sight of every well known spot ceased to raise the violent emotion which it produced for a while; for when her spirits began to revive, and her mind became capable of some exertion than that of heightening its affliction by melancholy remembrances, she was impatient to be gone, and indefatigable in her inquiries for a suitable dwelling in the neighborhood of Norland; for to remove far from that beloved spot was impossible. (3.1)
Home here is something prickly – while it's the site of trauma and "melancholy remembrances" in the wake of Mr. Dashwood's death, it's also too much loved to completely leave.
Many were the tears shed by them in their last adieus to a place so much beloved. "Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne, as she wandered alone before the house, on the last evening of their being there; "when shall I cease to regret you? -- when learn to feel a home elsewhere? -- Oh happy house! could you know what I suffer in now viewing you from this spot, from whence perhaps I may view you no more! -- And you, ye well-known trees! -- but you will continue the same. -- No leaf will decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionless although we can observe you no longer! -- No; you will continue the same; unconscious of the pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in those who walk under your shade! -- But who will remain to enjoy you?" (5.8)
Marianne's lament to Norland is a heartfelt one – she sounds melodramatic, but she's serious. Imagine leaving the only home you've ever known – that's about how the Dashwoods feel! Underneath Marianne's poetic pretension, there's genuine feeling.
The Dashwoods were now settled at Barton with tolerable comfort to themselves. The house and the garden, with all the objects surrounding them, were now become familiar; and the ordinary pursuits which had given to Norland half its charms, were engaged in again with far greater enjoyments than Norland had been able to afford since the loss of their father. (9.1)
The Dashwoods embark upon the process of making Barton their new home – we see that their old home was marred by the sadness of their father's loss there. Does this imply that we need fresh starts (and new surroundings) to get over the traumatic events of the past?