Fanny and creepmouse
Written by Bridget D
(9/19/2010 4:24 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Fanny as a Victim, penned by Patricia AA
I dont agree that Fanny is a ninny, and she does of course develop... but I think that she does have elements of the "martyr complex"..
But IMO it is not surprising. she has virtually nothing ot sustain her in life (apart form her affection for William and her relationship with Edmund but he's starting to slip away a little) but her consciousness of being "a good girl"... whichc she has learned from Edmund.. She is constantly told by Mrs Norris that she's the lowest in the house and that she is "Not good enough".. So she has to cling to her belief that she IS trying to be good and that she is obeying society's and religion's codes as interpreted to her largely by Edmund. So she tries so hard to be good... that she can't even let herself feel jealousy over Mary C at first or over Edmunds taking the mare away.... She has to rationalise it as feeling that the "mare should be considered" rather tahn herself....
She is aware that Edmund is falling in love with Mary, who does NOT seem a good girl nad she is unsure how to respond... SHe does not wnat to criticise Mary, who is socially her superior and if she criticises her she's afraid that Edmund will be annoyed with her.. so she's ambivalent about criticising Mary - or Ed's sisters etc.
Tom B calls her "creepmouse" and I think that that is the element of her character that annoys modern readers. For me it is not so mcuch that she does not stand up for herself to Mrs Norris, clealry she can't do that... but its the fear that I think she has, even in her private thoughts, of "not being good enough" and not daring even to think an occasional catty thought about Maria and Julia, or Mary C ( tho' she get more critcial of her later)....