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|Speculation, the East Room and Chains
Written by BarbaraB
(10/6/2010 7:46 p.m.)
1. Speculation(25)--This is not just a game of cards. First of all Henry and Mary are experts at the game. Henry is mainly in control here and manipulating the conversation. While he is teaching Fanny the game and attempting to teach her to have avarice and harden her heart, he relates how he stumbled upon Thornton Lacey and all the improvements that could be made to make it a gentleman's residence. Edmond lets him know, "I think the house and premises may be made comfortable, and given the air of a gentleman’s residence, without any very heavy expense, and that must suffice me; and, I hope, may suffice all who care about me.” Mary, resentful, delivers a double edged sword as she makes 'a hasty finish of her dealings with William Price; and securing his knave at an exorbitant rate, exclaimed, “There, I will stake my last like a woman of spirit. No cold prudence for me. I am not born to sit still and do nothing. If I lose the game, it shall not be from not striving for it.”' Henry then begins 'speculating' about living at Thornton Lacey himself. I can only assume that this is to make his intended proposal to Fanny more desirable as this would provide a home for them near MP. Henry's descriptions cause Mary to speculate on the possibility of being able to 'shut out the church, sink the clergyman, and see only the respectable, elegant modernized, and occasional residence of a man of independent fortune' but Sir Thomas bursts that bubble when he nixes any possibility of anyone living there except Edmond and any family he may have and we are told, "All the agreeable of her (Mary's) speculation was over for that hour."
2. The East Room---"Fanny is associated with the east. At Mansfield Park she has the use of the East room. Its physical orientation suggests the fundamentally right ordering of Fanny's values." (Gill and Gregory, Palgrave Series) Fanny comes to this room to meditate when she is confused, upset or feeling unsure of herself. Here, she also reads, writes and deals with her charitable works.
3. The cross and gold chains(26)---I had planned on including this in this posting but it has already been aptly addressed below. I will only add that the chains reflect the character of each of the gentlemen: Henry's is a 'prettily worked' gold chain presented by collusion while Edmond's is the plainer, simple chain Fanny longed for as more appropriate for the cross and is presented forthrightly by Edmond himself without any fanfare.
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