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Old 09-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #35
fantasyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
I still disliked her. I chafed at her attitude and primness and insufferable obedience.
Mind you, she isn't always that obedient! This shows up particularly well during the theatrical fiasco. The others accept the idiotic Yates as their theatre manager and the quite inappropriate play "Lovers' Vows" as their drama. Only Edmund and Fanny refuse to be part of the situation. Edmund succumbs--probably because there is a danger that outsiders will be invited in {and possibly because hormones come into play}--but Fanny holds fast despite considerable unrelenting pressure--including some horrible bullying by Mrs Norris:

' "You must excuse me, indeed you must excuse me," cried Fanny, growing more and more red from excessive agitation, and looking distressfully at Edmund, who was kindly observing her; but unwilling to exasperate his brother by interference, gave her only an encouraging smile. Her entreaty had no effect on Tom: he only said again what he had said before; and it was not merely Tom, for the requisition was now backed by Maria, and Mr. Crawford, and Mr. Yates, with an urgency which differed from his but in being more gentle or more ceremonious, and which altogether was quite overpowering to Fanny; and before she could breathe after it, Mrs. Norris completed the whole by thus addressing her in a whisper at once angry and audible--"What a piece of work here is about nothing: I am quite ashamed of you, Fanny, to make such a difficulty of obliging your cousins in a trifle of this sort--so kind as they are to you! Take the part with a good grace, and let us hear no more of the matter, I entreat."

' "Do not urge her, madam," said Edmund. "It is not fair to urge her in this manner. You see she does not like to act. Let her chuse for herself, as well as the rest of us. Her judgment may be quite as safely trusted. Do not urge her any more."

' "I am not going to urge her," replied Mrs. Norris sharply; "but I shall think her a very obstinate, ungrateful girl, if she does not do what her aunt and cousins wish her-- very ungrateful, indeed, considering who and what she is." '

I'm coming to the conclusion that all this shows a considerable strength of character and steadfast sense of rightness in Fanny.

Much later in the novel--when she receives the proposal she shows again that she will not simply be obedient if being so will offend her moral sense. In Portsmouth-we see the same steadfast strength--when it would be far easier to simply obey. Particularly when accepting Crawford, who honestly seems to love her, would indubitably establish her social position--and be of benefit to her family.

Fanny, IMO, is certainly a precursor to Anne Elliot, though she is neither as complex nor as sympathetic as the latter.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 09-07-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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