Chapter 2 Summary
Fanny arrives with Mrs. Norris at Mansfield Park. Lord Bertram's children are introduced to Fanny. Tom is the eldest son, at seventeen. He has little to do with Fanny in the following days and months except for occasionally teasing her. Edmund, whose goal in life is to become a clergyman, is sixteen. Of the Bertram's four children, Edmund displays the most interest and kindness toward Fanny. Maria is the elder daughter at thirteen. She and her sister Julia, who is twelve, think Fanny is odd. They cannot believe that Fanny has so few clothes, with none of the dresses she owns being very fancy. They also think that Fanny's looks are very plain. As they come to know her, they constantly report to their parents and their aunt, Mrs. Norris, how stupid Fanny is. Fanny has little knowledge of geography or history. She is not able to speak French. She has no interest in music and does not know the difference between crayons and watercolor paint.
Mrs. Norris tries to explain that Maria and Julia should not be too harsh on Fanny. Instead, they should appreciate their own intelligence and understand that not everyone is as gifted as they are. Fanny's memory, in comparison, Mrs. Norris explains to them, merely does not match theirs.
Fanny, in the meantime, is frightened by her new surroundings. The rooms are too big and too numerous for her to feel comfortable. In addition, Fanny misses her family. At home, she was respected by her siblings, both those who were older and younger than she was. She especially misses her older brother, William. When these feelings of loneliness and homesickness overcome her, Fanny retreats to her bedroom to cry. In the first few weeks, Fanny suffers through copious tears.
One day, Edmund happens to see Fanny sitting at the top of the stairs crying. He tries to comfort her, attempting to understand how much she must miss her family. Although he comprehends that she must be lonesome, he asks why she is...
(The entire section is 504 words.)