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|Role as big sister
Written by Elizabeth M
(8/5/2013 10:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, William and Susan, penned by Chas
I think particularly that being around Susan helps show how mature Fanny is. There are many points in the novel when Fanny is overlooked and thought of as a girl and it's quite clear by the end of the novel that she is not.
Perhaps there were doubts within Fanny about her maturity as a young woman. But she returned to Portsmouth no longer a child. That visit helped her see where she most belonged. She also had much to offer to someone else (Susan) in terms of her experience, which demonstrates her maturity. She returned to Portsmouth and that shift in environment helped show her growth.
In Mansfield Park, Fanny is in an environment where it's harder to notice that she has matured into a young woman/adult. The social position of her cousins and her female cousins' desire to grow up too fast (to take on the challenges and decisions of adulthood before they were fully ready or understand their consequences) causes Fanny to be in an environment where her choices appear to others as immature. Placing Fanny in the context of Portsmouth helps us see more clearly Fanny's growth. That relationship with her sister, in my mind, helps illustrate that she is a young woman and not a child.
I really have to reread the novel now, as my memory is not strong. I am looking forward to the group read, but I always forget to follow through with it. Hopefully this time I will remember to do it. MP is my favorite.
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