Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 17

Mrs. Dashwood’s kind welcome melts Edward’s reserve. Elinor is glad to see the Edward she liked emerge, though he continues to be low in spirits. Mrs. Dashwood blames his mother for it.

Mrs. Dashwood asks him if Mrs. Ferrars still hopes to make him an orator. He replies he hopes she finally has realized that his talents did not lie in that direction. He never wished to be a distinguished person.

Elinor believes money can contribute to happiness, which earns her criticism from Marianne. Elinor is amused by Marianne’s idea of a moderate income, which seems excessive. Marianne figures a sum that is needed to maintain servants and have a carriage.

Margaret wishes someone would bestow upon them a large fortune. They all reflect on how they would spend it.

Edward remarks that Marianne is the same, though not in as great of spirits. She comments that he isn’t in the highest of spirits either. He replies that he was never a merry person. Elinor reflects that Marianne is more of an eager person rather than a happy one.

Marianne thinks Elinor believes people should conform to the opinions of their neighbors. Elinor protests, saying that obeying the laws of propriety does not mean conformation to ideas.

Edward says he often offends because of his shyness, which is due to his concern that he is not graceful enough in manners. He gets flustered when Marianne criticizes him for being reserved as well, which he doesn’t think is a trait of his. Elinor is startled by his reaction but tells him that Marianne calls people reserved if they don’t act like she does to things. Edward broods.

Jane Austen