Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 31

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 31

  • Henry finally reveals what he was so happy about the other day: he convinced his uncle to help him get William a promotion. So William is now a Lieutenant.
  • Henry rushes to tell Fanny and she's beyond thrilled for William.
  • Fanny is shocked at the role Henry had in all of it, though, and doesn't know whether to be alarmed or thankful.
  • But Fanny starts to finally get that Henry actually has a thing for her.
  • Fanny tries to make a quick getaway but Henry detains her so that he can declare his love for her.
  • Fanny thinks he's just making fun of her and the whole thing makes her very uncomfortable.
  • She gets very upset and runs away from Henry.
  • She refuses to think that he's actually being serious and she just tries to focus on William.
  • Fanny goes to hide in her room until Henry leaves.
  • Sir Thomas is excited about William and reveals that he's invited Henry over for dinner.
  • Henry delivers a note to Fanny from Mary. Mary congratulates Fanny on snagging Henry and tells Fanny to not worry so much and just accept that Henry wants to marry her and be happy.
  • Fanny is totally unhappy about this.
  • Dinner is really awkward.
  • Mrs. Norris tries to insist that she always liked William... now that he's promoted.
  • Fanny is still pondering what's up with Henry and can't understand how he fell for her, or if he's even being sincere, and why on earth he's proposing. She feels his past conduct makes his current actions less than believable.
  • Henry keeps chatting with Fanny as though nothing is wrong and asks if she wants to write a note back to Mary.
  • Fanny writes a very abrupt note about how she can't possibly love Mr. Crawford and how this whole thing is a just a big mistake.
  • Henry leaves, still being sweet and charming, determined to win Fanny over.
  • Fanny is upset but tries to console herself with the fact that surely Henry will leave her alone now.

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