Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 35

By Jane Austen

Chapter 35

  • Elinor is kind of glad that Mrs. Ferrars was so awful – it convinces her that marrying Edward would have come with its share of troubles, in the form of an evil mother-in-law. However, she still can't say that she's exactly happy that Edward is engaged to Lucy.
  • Lucy herself stops by to gloat. She's exceedingly pleased at how nice Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars were to her. Elinor tries to remind her that they were only that nice because they didn't know about the engagement, but Lucy won't hear any of it.
  • Lucy goes on and on about how wonderful the Ferrars are, and how wonderful life is. It's sickening, both to Elinor and to us. She even goes on about how Elinor is practically her best friend, other than Edward. She hopes that Elinor will tell Fanny just how much she, Lucy, was impressed by her.
  • Lucy makes a rather pointed comment about how she would have known if Mrs. Ferrars disliked her, since she makes her dislike so apparent (as in Elinor's case).
  • At this unfortunate moment, things become even more awkward – Edward arrives.
  • Wow. Hmm. This is really not a comfortable situation. Elinor welcomes him politely, which puts him slightly at ease.
  • Lucy doesn't say a word, and so Elinor has to take care of the whole conversation. She then leaves Edward and Lucy on their own so that she can go fetch Marianne.
  • Marianne, not knowing what's going on with the weird love triangle, is overjoyed by Edward's appearance. He's alarmed by her unwell appearance, but she shakes him off, saying that Elinor is well enough for both of them.
  • Marianne suggests that Edward should escort the two of them home to Barton in a couple of weeks – but he mutters a lame excuse. This makes no difference to the excited Marianne. She goes on to tell him about the last night's dinner party, and asks why he wasn't there – didn't he want to see them?
  • Edward explains that he had a prior engagement, and Marianne is shocked. Lucy makes a cutting little comment about how Marianne shouldn't expect young men to keep their engagements. (Ouch! What a low blow.) Elinor is angry, but Marianne calmly responds by praising Edward's conscience.
  • This is too much for Edward, considering his current company, and he flees the scene. Lucy leaves soon thereafter.
  • Marianne is enraged by Lucy's rudeness – couldn't she see that they just wanted to spend time with Edward, their real friend? Elinor half-heartedly stands up for Lucy, saying that she had a right to visit with them, as Edward is her friend, too. She can't say anything else, for fear that she might give away the big secret.