Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 3

By Jane Austen

Chapter 3

  • Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters remain at Norland for a number of months while they're trying to figure out what to do. She's convinced that John means well, but grows increasingly unhappy about Fanny.
  • However, mother and daughter-in-law continue to coexist in relative peace for a single, pressing reason – Mrs. Dashwood doesn't want to move away just yet. It turns out that Elinor is in love with Fanny's brother, the mild-mannered, perfectly pleasant Edward (who's exactly the opposite of his obnoxious, greedy sister).
  • While Edward's mother and sister want him to become a successful, important man, these worldly things aren't so important to him – rather, he just wants to have a happy, quiet life.
  • Mrs. Dashwood gets to know Edward a little better, and jumps to the conclusion that he and Elinor will be married in no time. She tells Marianne to get used to the idea.
  • Personally, Marianne is very fond of Edward – she just doesn't really understand how her sister can be in love with someone so prosaic. She claims to only be able to love a more, well, dramatic and romantic (like herself) man.
  • Mrs. Dashwood laughs this off – after all, Marianne is only seventeen, and shouldn't despair at this early point in her life.