Sense and Sensibility

How are second attachements perceived in the novel? What do you think Austen is saying about people's ability to "start over"?

Initially Marianne devoutly believes in the notion of love at first sight and does not believe in second attachments.

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I think Austen was keenly aware of reality as opposed to fantasy when it came to matters of the heart in Victorian England. Certainly Marianne Dashwood's initial crush on John Willoughby proves to a schoolgirl error in judgement while her growing fondness for Colonel Brandon seems to be rooted in maturity. Austen was big on the idea of learning from mistakes and picking substance over style. Edward Ferrars too comes to appreciate Elinor even more as he matures through the novel.