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|Fanny as indirect narrator
Written by Delories
(10/8/2010 10:29 a.m.)
The discussions below of the cross/chain/necklace episode, and of Sir Thomas's "tirade" to Fanny, really brought home to me the reason why MP is probably my favorite JA novel, which is the same reason why it is NOT many other people's: Fanny's role as indirect narrator.
Although JA famously said that Emma was "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like," at least Emma is beautiful, vivaciously extroverted and rich. Fanny is none of those things (yes, yes, we've she that can indeed be attractive, but not in the same overt way), and many readers, even devoted Janeites, never warm to her.
This GR I've been focusing on Fanny (indeed, today is the first time I've posted this GR, and it's about her). This is, I think, my 4th time with MP, and still I can't fail to marvel at how JA takes this shy Cinderella, who daily faces both petty little trials and (Henry dixit) "abominable neglect and unkindness", making the depiction of those trials and Fanny's reactions to them vivid and deep; Fanny's thoughts and feelings, so often known only to her, are the current that runs through the novel, and it is her little voice that really tells the tale.
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