Jane Austen's novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published in 1811 and has many of the same qualities that are present in her other novels. Women are dependent on the male figures in society which can be seen in the opening pages. Henry Dashwood dies and his son John takes over the estate. Unfortunately, that leaves Henry's wife and three daughters (Elinor, Marianne and Margaret) with hardly any fortune. Six months after Mr. Dashwood's death, Sir John Middleton (Mrs. Dashwood's cousin)invites her and her daughters to come live at Barton Cottage where he lives. Mrs. Dashwood willingly accepts the invitation. Even though Mrs. Dashwood cannot wait to leave, Elinor has trouble leaving everything behind, especially a gentleman that she likes named Edward Ferrars. Upon their arrival to their new home, the Middletons throw their guests a dinner party. Colonel Brandon, a guest at the party, takes an interest in Marianne, but Marianne later falls in love with John Willoughby. Lucy Steele comes to visit and informs Elinor that she has been secretly engaged to Mr. Ferrars for a year now. Elinor assumes that she means Robert Ferrars, but to her horror she finds out it is really to Edward Ferrars, the man Elinor loves. Later, Marianne's heart is also broken when she sees Mr. Willoughby at a party and he sends her a letter soon afterward saying that he never had feelings for her. It becomes clear that the reason for breaking up their relationship was because he had met Sophia Grey, a rich young woman. Quickly after their break-up, news comes around that he has already asked Sophia for her hand in marriage. While Marianne is sick, Mr. Willoughby comes to visit her and she realizes that her life is better without him. I do not want to give away the ending, but I will say that I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Jane Austen's other pieces of literature.
1. What would you do if you found out that the person you loved had secretly been engaged? Would you confront them or would you behave more like Elinor and just decide to move on with your life without fully confronting the person?
2.In the novel, Edward's fiance ends up leaving him for his brother Robert. If you were in this situation, how would you react?