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|Us vs. Them
Written by Ramya
(10/15/2010 10:01 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Quite a letter from Mary in Chapter 40, penned by Angela L
You make a good observation that Mary writes as though she and Fanny were a team against Maria and Julia, etc.. This is something Mary may have been used to all her life. Living with her aunt and uncle, she and her aunt would have made a team, and her uncle with Henry, another.
I think this goes with Mary's competitive nature, and may be natural in the London crowd she is used to being with. I have three very particular friends who have been all dying for him in their turn; and the pains which they, their mothers (very clever women), as well as my dear aunt and myself, have taken to reason, coax, or trick him into marrying, is inconceivable! Chap. 4
In another way, she and her brother are a team. He confides to her his schemes of feminine conquests, and she protects and helps him along the way. Mary quite possibly has been playing both teams- trying to trick Henry into marriage while helping him in some insidious scheme at the same time.
Later, when they move to Northampton, she and Edmund have fallen in love with each other, and Henry has fallen in love with Fanny. She knows Edmund and Fanny are close. Maria, Julia and herself never really 'cared three straws' for each other, and she has seen how poorly they all treated Fanny. Moreover, I don't think Mary has ever encountered such genuine people as Fanny and Edmund (or Mrs, Grant) before. So, she naturally divides the lines in a way where she and Fanny would be in the same team against Maria and her set. Jealously at Maria's status and contempt that she succumbed to Henry's game may be other reasons why Mary is cruel to her with the Fanny name-drop.
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