Posted by Kathy F. on July 10, 1997 at 22:40:26:
In reply to Re: The Usual Henry Crawford Debate posted by Julia on July 10, 1997 at 18:05:26
] ] I'm also a Henry Crawford fan, and frankly, I don't like JA's mistreatment of him. Why, indeed, did he have to be so bad, and that mealy Edmund be so good? I should have liked HC to really love Fanny, and her to realize that such a lively, masculine man might bring a little spark to her dull life. Of course, Jane knows best.
Yes, of course she does, but I like that Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax mirror the HC/FP situtation so closely, and allows a happy ending.
] You've reiterated my opinion on Henry exactly. (w/all imaginable respect to JA) I have always preferred Henry to Edmund. Edmund IS mealy, and annoyingly weak. At least Fanny has values that she stands by with unwavering conviction. Edmund just kind of wilters under pressure. I thought the Henry-Maria affair was a big error in the story; I believe in Henry's love for Fanny, and I think she would have come around eventually, after watching Mary mold Edmund like a piece of clay. Then she would have seen how much more exciting Henry is in the light of Edmund's disgraceful wishy-washiness! The M/H affair is ridiculous. I think H. changed because of his love for Fanny ( a Lizzy-Darcy reaction) and reshaped his morals. He never would have done such a thing, even if Maria was all over him, which I don't doubt. Sorry this is so long-had to get it all out!
I can kind of understand why JA had to punish the Crawfords--they were not good people at first--they had a lot of errors, and were not fit for the Mansfield Park people--AT FIRST! But all throughout the book, after the initial errors, JA seems so intent on changing them into decent creatures, that at the end, I'm left asking, "Excuse me?--Henry is NOT going to marry Fanny?" My second read through the book changed my opinion slightly, and I paid closer attention to the "small stuff" that were the Crawfords' errors. I really truly thought (the first time) that Henry and Mary had reformed, and were fit for Fanny and Edward.
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