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|What was she thinking?
Written by Ramya
(9/28/2010 12:40 p.m.)
Henry's holding of Maria's hand to his heart even after the announcement of Sir Thomas' arrival convinces her that he truly loves her and she is now hopeful that he will lose no time in declaring himself. She hopes that Mr. Rushworth, who leaves the next morning, would never have to come back. However, Maria has clearly not thought about all the repercussions of such an outcome.
How would Maria even begin to explain to her father that she wanted to break her engagement with Mr. Rushworth because she had fallen in love with another man? How would her father respond to the news that Henry Crawford had courted her while she was an engaged woman? The scandal it would cause, and the damage to her reputation, and to the reputation of all the family, does not seem to have crossed her mind.
Finally, did she really think that her father, whom she knows to have a very strict notion of propriety, would really consent to her marriage with Henry? Sir Thomas may not have the power to withhold his consent, but he may be able to withhold her settlement. We don't know the terms of Lady Bertram's marriage settlement and how much money was settled on her offspring, but I think Sir Thomas could easily curtail Maria's inheritance, and throw her off from the family.
All this convinces me that the Maria is so much in the throes of her passion for Henry, that she has stopped thinking rationally.
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