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Re: Cannot change his character?

March 26, 2015 01:00AM
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If it even occurred to her that a slightly more welcoming response from Fanny might have actually kept him on the straight and narrow,

As I state above, I don't think that's true at all. If you see what Austen said on the subject, you will see that Henry actually found her resistance stimulating and was moved to even greater passion and determination, all the while completely certain he could win her in the end.

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He had all the disposition to persevere that Sir Thomas could wish him. He had vanity, which strongly inclined him in the first place to think she did love him, though she might not know it herself; and which, secondly, when constrained at last to admit that she did know her own present feelings, convinced him that he should be able in time to make those feelings what he wished.

He was in love, very much in love; and it was a love which, operating on an active, sanguine spirit, of more warmth than delicacy, made her affection appear of greater consequence because it was withheld, and determined him to have the glory, as well as the felicity, of forcing her to love him.

He would not despair: he would not desist. He had every well–grounded reason for solid attachment; he knew her to have all the worth that could justify the warmest hopes of lasting happiness with her; her conduct at this very time, by speaking the disinterestedness and delicacy of her character (qualities which he believed most rare indeed), was of a sort to heighten all his wishes, and confirm all his resolutions. He knew not that he had a pre–engaged heart to attack. Of that he had no suspicion. He considered her rather as one who had never thought on the subject enough to be in danger; who had been guarded by youth, a youth of mind as lovely as of person; whose modesty had prevented her from understanding his attentions, and who was still overpowered by the suddenness of addresses so wholly unexpected, and the novelty of a situation which her fancy had never taken into account.

Must it not follow of course, that, when he was understood, he should succeed? He believed it fully. Love such as his, in a man like himself, must with perseverance secure a return, and at no great distance; and he had so much delight in the idea of obliging her to love him in a very short time, that her not loving him now was scarcely regretted. A little difficulty to be overcome was no evil to Henry Crawford. He rather derived spirits from it. He had been apt to gain hearts too easily. His situation was new and animating.

When you consider the fact that Fanny actually was softening towards him when he visited her in Portsmouth, and her manners would have inevitably betrayed that, it could not have been despair of her love that drove him to Maria. Austen, in fact, explicitly tells us otherwise. It was just vanity, and that vanity of his could only have been increased by easily winning Fanny's heart. On the other hand, his need to prove his constancy to her (they discussed that specifically, remember), should have exerted a much stronger effect on him, and given him the greatest motivation to continue on the straight and narrow. How can you think a man who is faithless while still in pursuit of the prize would remain faithful once he already secured it?
SubjectAuthorPosted

Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Rose H.March 25, 2015 12:52AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Katharine TMarch 25, 2015 02:25PM

Cannot change his character?

Rose H.March 25, 2015 07:28PM

Re: Cannot change his character?

Katharine TMarch 25, 2015 10:30PM

Re: Cannot change his character?

Suzanne OMarch 26, 2015 12:43AM

Totally agree with this (nfm)

NickiMarch 25, 2015 10:55PM

Re: Cannot change his character?

Jim D.March 25, 2015 07:43PM

Re: Cannot change his character?

Suzanne OMarch 26, 2015 01:00AM

Agreed, though

Rose H.March 26, 2015 01:37AM

Re: Agreed, though

Suzanne OMarch 26, 2015 02:45AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Jim D.March 25, 2015 12:52PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Rose H.March 25, 2015 07:58PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Amy A-NWMarch 26, 2015 05:21PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Jim D.March 26, 2015 03:17AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Katharine TMarch 25, 2015 10:42PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Rose H.March 26, 2015 12:03AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Suzanne OMarch 26, 2015 02:50AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Katharine TMarch 26, 2015 12:46AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Mari A.March 25, 2015 08:32PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Janice HMarch 25, 2015 09:29PM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Rose H.March 26, 2015 12:14AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Suzanne OMarch 26, 2015 03:09AM

Re: Mansfield Park Fanny/Henry stories?

Shannon KMarch 25, 2015 02:19AM

Totally agree! (nfm)

InesMarch 28, 2015 03:13PM

I second that!

Janice HMarch 25, 2015 02:40PM

Re: I second that!

Katharine TMarch 25, 2015 03:09PM



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