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|to be ashamed of either [Mary's] feelings or [Fanny's]
Written by Stephanie
(10/18/2010 3:16 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Fanny Mary and Austen, penned by Bridget D
I am not sure that the influence of London friends should not be given full weight, however. I had not thought of it before, but many of us (Guilty, yes, I am!) change mannerisms and speech patterns in different company.
Whatever influence she is acting under, however, those who think Mary MUST know Fanny would not wish for anyone's death have never convinced me. I think Mary is incapable of assuming anyone is that much better than herself. Mary might think that Fanny would not say it aloud, but she has never read Fanny right, not once, with all the clues in front of her. Remember the attempt to compliment Fanny at the ball with her supposed power over Henry that did nothing but DISplease her? Remember the accusation of Fanny's consciousness of Henry's hand in the gift of the necklace? Remember Mary's assumption that Henry would make Fanny happy? How many clues has Mary had that Fanny loved Edmund? She never once caught on, not even as a momentary 'why, anyone would think that Fanny was upset, turning away right when we needed her as a prompter...'
No, I think Mary's turn of phrase might be jarring, but her belief that Fanny would welcome Tom's death is sincere.
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