Feminine independence is a recurring theme throughout SS, and once again, Austen communicates her points in an 18th century-appropriate manner. Austen portrays women who are constantly abandoned by men, manifested first in the death of Henry Dashwood, leaving his widow and three daughters in a world of financial instability. Later, Marianne’s John Willoughby abandons her for financial reasons, leaving her while he deviates from their attachment in London. Elinor later discovers Edward’s secret engagement to Lucy Steele, and following the end of the first half of the book, men have failed women in Austen’s world in every sense: romantically, financially, and matrimonially. Men are made painfully mortal and are hardly the beacons of society portrayed in Shakespeare plays. Austen’s portrayal of women as dynamic characters evokes rigidity in favorable male characters; in developing and exposing all aspects of her female characters, Austen’s developing male characters become the manipulators and the literary devices that contribute to the plot and the betterment of female protagonists. The “good” male characters never change: what changes is Elinor and Marianne’s perception of them. Edward remains a victim of social circles, where John in turn is revealed to be exactly what everyone other than Marianne had known him to be. His debauchery and duplicity grows, culminating in his declaration of engagement to Miss Grey. Following John’s engagement to the wealthy heiress, Marianne weds Colonel Brandon, the man who all along had stood by his word and remained the static “good guy”.