By the time Fanny reaches adulthood, her love for Edmund is a foregone conclusion. At the time, however, Edmund’s attention is distracted by Mary Crawford, who appears to be everything that Fanny is not. While Fanny is shy and reserved, Mary is vivacious and outgoing. As is always the case with unrequited love, the reader can scarcely help feeling desperately sorry for Fanny as she watches Edmund and Mary grow closer.
It’s not, however, as though Fanny is invisible to Edmund: she is his friend and his confidant at this stage of the story. The fact that Edmund’s feelings for Fanny did not initially extend past friendship can be seen in the fact that when Henry proposes to Fanny, Edmund urges her to accept him.
As the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps demonstrated by the time in which Fanny goes to stay with her own family for a period. During this time, Edmund’s infatuation with Mary ends, and he finally sees Fanny as the woman he should marry. Fanny...
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