Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 11

By Jane Austen

Chapter 11

  • Once Marianne is recovered from her injury, the Dashwoods are surprised by how full their social calendar is. Sir John keeps them busy with parties and balls, and, of course, Willoughby is always around to entertain Marianne. The two of them are obviously an item.
  • Whenever Willoughby's around, Marianne doesn't pay attention to anyone else – she's wholly absorbed by him. Both Marianne and her mother are completely happy about their new life.
  • Elinor, on the other hand, isn't so convinced. She doesn't have any real friends among their new acquaintances, and she's particularly unimpressed by the conversation provided by Mrs. Jennings and Lady Middleton.
  • Only Colonel Brandon proves to be an interesting new friend for Elinor. Not only does she genuinely like him, she also feels bad for the fact that her sister totally ignores him.
  • Colonel Brandon and Elinor discuss Marianne's prejudice against second marriages – they put it down to her youth and idealistic perspective. Colonel Brandon lets slip the fact that he previously knew a young lady that reminded him a lot of Marianne – a fact that Elinor tactfully keeps to herself. If Marianne knew about this former acquaintance, our narrator informs us, she would have blown it up into a dramatic, tragic love story.