The value systems in this novel involve the ideas of sense or
practicality, romantic sensibility, and social status.
Practicality is exemplified by the heroine of the novel,
Elinor. She cares for her family, avoids emotional drama -
unlike her mother and Marianne, and makes decisions based on a
moral standard, intellect and social propriety. Marianne, and
Willoughby for a time, characterizes romantic sensibility.
She has a large list of rules for the way life and romance should
operate, and when other people or circumstances fall short of her
expectations, she falls into sentimental drama, not caring how if
Everyone in this novel at one point or another is defined by
their social status which is primarily determined by their
financial means. For some characters, such as John and Fanny
Dashwood, social standing is the determing factor for every
decision - who they spend time with, who they consider friends, how
they spend their own money, and how they care for their family.
Marianne's sentimentality was exclusive for most of the novel,
until she is convicted by seeing Elinor's plight and changes her
ways. Willoughby releases his romantic notions much faster
than Marianne when he chooses social/financial status over
love. Both Elinor and Edward choose propriety over all
things, and are rewarded with love. Fanny Dashwood, Lucy, and
Mrs. Ferrars base their decisions soley on social standing with