Martinez 1Marcos MartinezFather Robert MaguireLiterature Traditions IV-041 May 2012Mansfield ParkEdmund Bertram digresses morally in becoming attracted to Mary Crawford. However, his digression is necessary for his redemption and recognition of his love for Fanny. Fanny’s jealousy is necessary as well in realizing her love for Edmund, providing him with greater affection once realizing he had been dear to her heart for so long a time. Quite near the beginningof Mansfield Park, Edmund becomes quite smitten with Mary Crawford even when she speaks rather disrespectfully of her uncle, “Edmund was sorry to hear Miss Crawford, whom he was much disposed to admire” (Austen 55). Then, later when he is speaking to Fanny on the matter, who likes Mary, he remarks that “it is her countenance that is so attractive” (Austen 60). It is Edmund’s attraction to Mary that causes his strong moral character to digress throughout the novel, but it is absolutely necessary for his final redemption and recognition of love for Fanny that allows for an even greater amount of growth and prosperity.When Edmund first meets Mary, throughout the course of a few days, he is taken with her, intrigued and his attention captivated. This captivation eventually begins the process of his neglect of his natural kindness toward Fanny. Fanny is often left hurt by this neglect but never explicitly says so. When the Bertrams spend a day in Sotherton with the Crawford siblings to visit Mister Rushworth, Fanny, Edmund, and Mary all decide to take a walk through the woods. The walk soon proves to be strenuous on Fanny and they take a break. At this point, Edmund andMary soon begin to playfully argue over how large the area is and resolve to take a walk. They
Martinez 2promise to only be gone for no more than a few minutes. But Edmund, being with Mary, soon forgets about Fanny and they are gone for over an hour. Fanny tries to convince herself that Edmund would surely have remembered her but “this was not quite sufficient to do away the pain of having been left a whole hour” (Austen 96). Further adding to her wounded state, she learns of what they had been conversing about and “the result of the whole was to her disappointment and depression” (Austen 97). Edmund’s continuance of this behavior hurts Fannyevermore, but drives her to love him even more through her dislike of Mary.