What is the development of Fanny's relationship with Edmund in Mansfield Park?

The development of Fanny's relationship with Edmund in Mansfield Park involves the transformation of Fanny's unrequited love into a mutual affection that leads to marriage.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 891 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 28, 2020