Posted by Serena on May 03, 1997 at 05:55:45:
This is my thought, having last read the novel about 8 years ago.
When Fanny first came out of Portmouth, she had left her world of stability, her loving brother and her leading role as one of the older kids in the family. She was taken at the tender teenager stage . She was thrown into a world of affluence which she had no part off, Mrs Norris to constantly remaind her of her insufficency and her selfish cousins' (Edmund excepting) condescension. Edmund, being the nice guy, took pity and empathised with her. He singlehandedly, took upon himself her grooming - though it was based on his values and principles. She developed into a mature lady, guided by what was initially Edmund's values, but with the advantage of having lived once poor and much in control of her life and that of her family's. She had the advantage of more varied experiences relative to Edmund's social and family status-quo. If Fanny had incredible insight, I would attribute it to her own family life in Portsmouth and her correspondances with her brother. These coupled with Edmund's attention, gave her vision beyond her years, and the confidence to once again become the center of the household she resided in (ie her uncle's). Hence, I thought her emotional growth sort of fluctuated from strength (child-like yet maturing slowly in Portsmouth), then to weakness and isolation from being overpowered by the Bertrams/Norris, than as she gained a foothold in their lives, she once again bounced back to being the 'tower of strength' - so perhaps, her growth was not as significant as Lizzy's, but likened to Anne Elliot, they were always heroines with strength, only needing one big shock to throw their confidence off, but ultimatley bouncing back and being the better for it too.
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