Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Chapter 45

By Jane Austen

Chapter 45

  • Elinor muses over the fact that she actually feels kind of bad for Willoughby, despite his ill deeds. She goes to check on Marianne, who's feeling much refreshed after a long nap.
  • Mrs. Dashwood and Colonel Brandon finally arrive just then, and her mother is totally overwhelmed by tears of relief and joy. Mother and daughters are reunited, and after a brief moment of excitement, Marianne goes back to sleep with her mother watching over her.
  • Elinor can't stop thinking about "poor Willoughby," and feels bad for judging him so harshly. She dreads telling Marianne – what will it do to her sister? Will Marianne be able to love again?
  • Then, her thoughts turn to Colonel Brandon, and she feels kind of bad for feeling bad for Willoughby – after all, the Colonel's sufferings were much worse.
  • Marianne gets better every day, and Mrs. Dashwood is overjoyed. Elinor asks her what she's so happy about, and she responds that the Colonel has told her that he loves Marianne.
  • Elinor is calm, composed, and attentive (on the outside, at least) – Mrs. Dashwood explains that she loves the idea of Colonel Brandon marrying one of her daughters, and Marianne would probably be happier with him. Sigh, Mrs. Dashwood… she always means so well.
  • Apparently, Colonel Brandon spilled his guts to Mrs. Dashwood in the carriage, and admitted that he has loved Marianne from the moment he met her. Elinor realizes that her mother has embellished all of this with her own fancy touches.
  • Mrs. Dashwood gushes about how wonderful Colonel Brandon is, and Elinor acquiesces – yes, everyone agrees that Colonel Brandon is a great guy.
  • Colonel Brandon is cautious in his hopes; he doesn't think that Marianne will shift her allegiances to him so soon after Willoughby. Mrs. Dashwood doesn't see how her daughter will be able to resist her next suitor – after all, Mrs. Dashwood herself believes (now) that Willoughby was worthless.
  • As far as Mrs. Dashwood is concerned, it's a done deal. She's already planning on moving the whole family closer to Delaford. Elinor feels a little anxious – after all, she doesn't want to be too close to Edward and Lucy.
  • Elinor goes away to think all of this over; she hopes that Colonel Brandon will succeed, but she does feel a little bad for Willoughby.