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|The consequences of Henry's actions
Written by Ramya
(10/24/2010 8:15 a.m.)
Henry's determination to break Mrs. Rushworth and make her Maria Bertram in her treatment of him have several, and far-reaching consequences. Not all of them are bad; yet- his and Maria's affair literally shook and reordered their community quite a bit.
1. The first, and most significant consequence, is of course, the stain of adultery and the consequent dissolution of the Rushworth marriage.
2. Public shame for the Rushworths and the Bertrams. The publicity would have been national, and very public, since the divorce would need to be passed by the Parliament. He may have been actioned by Mr. Rushworth as well.
3. Mary and Edmund can't marry. Poor Mary- but they never would have been compatible anyway. Yet, Henry must have known that he was destroying her sister's chance with the man he knew she loved, and perhaps, this tainted her reputation a little by association, as well.
4. He can't marry Fanny. Great escape for Fanny!
5. For all practical purposes, Maria is thrown off from the family. I feel a little sorry for her, only because she has to live alone with Mrs. Norris in a cottage (a fate which Fanny was threatened with once).
6. Mrs. Norris leaves Mansfield Park for ever. Even Sir Thomas is thankful she is gone.
7. The Grants lose face in the neighborhood, and have to leave Mansfield, much to Mrs. Grant's regret.
8. Edmund and Fanny marry.
9. Susan arrives in Mansfield Park as a comfort for Fanny, and replaces her as the stationary niece.
10. Sir Thomas learns a lot of valuable lessons, and implements them. He and Fanny finally grow to have a true father-daughter relationship.
Anything else I have missed?
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