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|Crawford vs Darcy
Written by Ramya
(9/23/2013 1:17 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, parallels and contrasts between Darcy and Crawford -- Darcy, penned by Nikki N
I can see your point about Crawford refusing Mr. Price's invitation being actually a blessing to poor Fanny, who would have been mortified if he had agreed to dine with them. However, you give him more credit that I do. For one thing, I have a hard time visualizing a reformed HC within the time-line of the novel. All his so-called changes are superficial, and do not go down deep. Yes--HC would be more easy-going than Darcy in the way he deals with annoying relatives (for instance, we never hear of him being bothered by Mrs. Norris). However, he also treats Fanny's relatives really badly where it really does matter, and ultimately ends up betraying everyone's trust in him. There is also some impropriety in his offer to convey Fanny back to Mansfield Park, though it is well-meant. Besides, he has, by his very arrival at Portsmouth, subjected Fanny to embarrassment and apprehension while she is staying with her poor relations.
I am not saying that he was not capable of redemption, but he was too weak to withstand even the mildest of temptations to misbehave. Darcy's reform goes deeper because he learns to treat even vulgar and irritating people like Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Phillips with basic respect. Henry doesn't seem bothered by people who behave in a vulgar manner, because ultimately he doesn't care too much about other people, and he lacks empathy to consider the consequences of his actions on others.
Darcy, pre-reform, takes care of the people within his circle. Henry is not so considerate even towards his own sister. Mary is forced to find a home with their half-sister because HC can't be bothered with settling down in his estate with her. Ultimately, he ruins his own sister's chance of happiness with Edmund Bertram by his selfish actions.
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