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|Ch 32, to me, is one of Miss Austen's smaller masterpieces
Written by jeffrey
(10/5/2010 9:44 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sir Thomas goes to the East Room (ch 32), penned by BarbaraB
It is here that Fanny's incredible strength and resolve to endure unjust suffering and punishment in order to spare Sir Thomas the mortification of learning of the totally improper behavior of Henry Crawford with the Miss Bertrams, especially Maria.
I Believe he has come to love Fanny very much and that he is disappointed and frustrated on two points:
Frustrated because his opinion of young women (which he voices in his conversation with Fanny) is that they are willful, obstinate and too independent in their not giving way to the wishes of the men within their sphere of influence. (witness the compliant and deferential behavior of Lady B to the chauvinistic decisive attitude of Sir Thomas)
Disappointed because he knows nothing of Henry Crawford's dangerous laiasons with the Miss Bertrams and indeed his trifling conquest to "put a hole in Fanny's heart."
Later on in Ch 32 at breakfast the next day is this telling little quote:
Sir Thomas, during this entire dressing-down, appears to be in total control of his emotions and, as always, he is the gentleman...civil and polite but oh so very intimidating with his choice of words. Poor Fanny would have probably wished him to come in and beat her with a whip rather than to bludgeon her with his heavy punishing words.
Fanny comes off as an almost sacrificial martyr figure here because what she does NOT reveal to Sir Thomas speaks volumes about here strength of character, love for Sir Thomas and indeed the entire family.
I could go on and on about Ch 32....somebody please stop me!
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