Posted by kathleen (elder) on June 29, 1997 at 18:28:58:
In reply to Edmund Bertram ?? posted by Linda on June 29, 1997 at 16:27:33
] I cannot quite make him out.
I agree that Edmund is a bit of a problem. Here's what I have come up with over the years and rereadings.
Edmund loves Mary throughout most of the book. His love for Fanny is as a friend, a trusted confidante, until the end of the novel when JA tells us that he eventually stops loving MC and starts loving Fanny.
His attraction to Mary causes him to forget what he feels is due to Fanny with regard to her exercise. With respect to her learning to love Henry, I have to wonder if he didn't have at least one ulterior motive for this -- his favorite relative married to the brother of his favorite (non-relative) woman.
As far as not protecting Fanny from the predators (among the family as well as outside it), I think he just doesn't see people as they really are. He knows what he would do in certain situations, and he cannot believe that others would act so very differently (and certainly not that they would act badly). A bit like Jane Bennet in this respect.
Aunt Norris seems to have fooled both Sir Thomas and Edmund -- they evidently took her at her word that she was kind, generous, well-meaning, etc. It's even harder for me understand how Sir Thomas missed the signs, but he must not have bothered to look really close at her actions (which frequently betrayed her words).
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