Study Guide

Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility

By Jane Austen

Mrs. Dashwood

Mrs. Dashwood is a lucky woman. She's fortunate enough to have had a husband to take care of her, then to have Elinor, a practical daughter, who took up the mantle of responsibility. She's kind of a silly woman – she's sweet and loving, and is a pretty good mom when it comes to coddling her daughters, but overall, she's not the most pragmatic of ladies. Mrs. Dashwood is kind of a grown up version of Marianne; like her headstrong daughter, she's inclined to follow her heart, not her common sense (of which she doesn't seem to have much). She and Marianne just serve to egg each other on. Without the balancing, calming force of Elinor, we're not sure what would go down in the Dashwood household. And we're kind of glad that we never have to find out.