by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Very true, indeed, my dears, but you are blessed with wonderful memories, and your poor cousin has probably none at all. There is a vast deal of difference in memories, as well as in everything else, and therefore you must make allowance for your cousin, and pity her deficiency" (2.28).
Mrs. Norris is once again ridiculously mean to Fanny, here implying that Fanny is a total moron. However, Mrs. Norris's comments on the "difference in memories" is rather accurate in this novel. Fanny's own long memory is often contrasted with those of characters who prefer to live in the present, such as Henry.
But he had ended his speech in a way to sink her in sad mortification, by adding, "If William does come to Mansfield, I hope you may be able to convince him that the many years which have passed since you parted have not been spent on your side entirely without improvement – though I fear he must find his sister at sixteen in some respects too much like his sister at ten" (3.64).
Fanny is frequently described as, or associated with, the term "constancy." Fanny herself is very slow and reluctant to change, even as she is here embarrassed by her lack of change as she grows up. Sir Thomas is actually really accurate here – Fanny is really similar to the child-version of Fanny we meet at the start of the book.
It was not in Miss Crawford's power to talk Fanny into any real forgetfulness of what had passed. When the evening was over, she went to bed full of it, her nerves still agitated by the shock of such an attack from her cousin Tom, so public and so persevered in [...] (16.1).
Just as Fanny feels words in her "nerves," she also obsesses over past events and words and has a physical reaction to the stresses of just remembering things.