Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Why does John Middleton try to convince Elinor of his lack of money in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I was unable to find in Sense and Sensibility a moment when Sir John Middleton tells Elinor that he does not have a lot of money; however, perhaps you actually meant John Willoughby? Towards the end of the book, Willoughby comes to Elinor to explain his treatment of Marianne, and one of his reasons is lack of money. Below is an account of his explanations:

When Willoughby learns from Sir John Middleton that Marianne was dying of a fever at Cleveland, he rushes from town to try and make both Marianne and Elinor think "one degree less" badly of him (Ch. 44).

Willoughby confesses that at first when he met Marianne and her family, he had no other intention than flirting with her and enjoying her company, even if he saw that she sincerely loved him. His reason was that he already knew himself to be an extravagant man and knew that his estate at Combe Magna was not quite...

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