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|GR: Fanny's mothering abilities
Written by Candice Michelle
(8/11/2003 7:46 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Mothers in S&S, and poor little Harry, penned by KateL
] On a related note, I've always felt sorry for little Harry Dashwood, IMO the worst victim of bad mothering. Used by his own parents to increase their wealth, denied the company of his aunts and future cousins, hated for two hundred years by readers for inheriting all that money, and he's barely four years old! All this, and Fanny in charge of the nursery.
We really don't get to see Fanny as an active mother yet. In chapter 2, she is only using the idea of Harry to convince her husband that he shouldn't live up to his deathbed promise to his father. Of course, if we can take any of what she says at face value, then her words show how important it is to her that her son always be wealthy. I think that much is believable, though of course, her own self-interest is also a key reason for her argument.
These words, in conjunction with her opinion of the match between Edward and Elinor (in her conversation w/ Mrs. Dashwood in chapter 4), lead me to believe that she will be much the same with Harry when he is grown as Mrs. Ferrars is with Edward. That is, promoting his material interests as the scion of the family, as opposed to paying attention to his personal interests and what would make him happy as a person.
It is interesting that we don't get to see her doting on Harry. We don't even hear her described as a doting mother who spoils her child, like Lady Middleton is described. Does she spoil him and coddle him? Or does she ignore him and leave him to the care of nannies?
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