Posted by Barbara on May 07, 1997 at 14:40:11:
I broke down and bought a paperback of MP so it would be less cumbersome than lugging around my huge book with all the novels in it. The introduction to this Peguin Classics edition suggests that one thing that bothers people about Fanny as a heroine is that she is able to triumph by doing nothing . She rarely goes anywhere, sees few people, does not talk a lot, and is a bit on the sickly side. This introduction also suggests that Fanny, in doing nothing, is never, ever wrong.
This made me think a bit. All the other main characters in MP do act inappropriately or make a poor judgement on at least one occasion. Fanny never does. And yet, it is not guaranteed that doing nothing will make someone heroic or even worth having around--look at Lady Bertram and compare the two sides of doing nothing!
Also, in the rather restrained society of the regency era, maybe this is how a lot of women had to act because they had no other choice. Anne Elliot also sits quietly by most of the time, although she is able to take charge and take action when the need arises. As much as we all love Elizabeth Bennet and Emma, was it perhaps more ususal, or even acceptable for a young woman in this time to act more like Fanny or Anne?
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