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|Chapter 1: The Dashwood Sisters
Written by kathleen (elder)
(9/6/2009 7:04 a.m.)
Chapter 1 closes with descriptions of the Dashwood sisters -- Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret. No physical descriptions, as Carol J noted in another thread, but a quick summary of their personalities & emotional/intellectual traits.
Elinor, this eldest daughter ... strength of understanding, and coolness of judgment, which qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counsellor of her mother, ... . She had an excellent heart; her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong: but she knew how to govern them ... .
Marianne's age is not given here, but she is obviously somewhere between 13 & 19! Elinor is the adult amongst these sisters (and more responsible in many respects than their mother). The narrator seems to admire Elinor, like Marianne, and be teasing about the young Margaret.
The Dashwood sisters (& their mother) have strong feelings, and the narrator seems to consider this a good thing; it contrasts with John Dashwood, who "had not the strong feelings of the rest of the family." The eldest two sisters, especially, have been described as having similar and/or complementary characteristics, but strength of feeling for each. This should set the stage for our understanding of their reactions to future events.
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