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|I think Henry and Fanny's fate had they married...
Written by Karen G
(10/23/2010 11:13 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Fanny and Henry happy, penned by Bridget D
might have mirrored Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax to a certain degree in Emma. I posted about this on Austenuations. I could imagine that Henry had a ton of bad inclinations to overcome, and with his exuberance over everything, he would have bulldozed over Fanny, and she might even die young. After all she would marry him out of gratitude, and would agree to his suggestions due to her sense of a wife's obligation, which after succumbing to marriage, that sense of obligation would trump things that she would otherwise have refused to do (travel to the city all the time, be friendly to people she would not respect at all and who would not respect her, be the object of ridicule in Henry's circles while he doesn't even notice, and she would only be happy when he chose to see her unhappiness and seek to fill the hole he made in her heart, etc.) Again, I understand Jane Austen sought to tell her reader that Henry did love Fanny. But Fanny also indicated she didn't think she would be up to the task of reforming Henry. I only a different scenerio than I laid above only if Fanny had the strength to love Henry back, and that I think she could only do if she knew Edmund was happy without her, so she could endeavor to move on from her first love. Mary would also have to learn to love Edmund to make him happy. So many uphill battles! When I think more about it, MP has one of the least happy endings to characters we read about. The only truly happy people are the "good" people: (IMO in order of happiness) Fanny, Edmund, William, Susan, Tom (he's the reformed one), Julia, Sir Thomas (I would put him higher, but he has the conscious grief of losing Maria? and therefore acknowledging his own failings as a father), Lady B... (and others aren't happy.)
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