Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 32

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Chapter 32

  • Fanny is massively stressed out and wants Henry to just go away and leave her alone.
  • She feels that he's turning into a stalker.
  • She wants Mary to leave already, too.
  • Henry drops by the house again to talk to Sir Thomas. This doesn't bode well for Fanny.
  • Finally Sir Thomas comes upstairs to Fanny's room to talk with her.
  • Sir Thomas is surprised to see that Fanny doesn't have a fire in her room and she says that she never has one.
  • He figures out this is crazy Mrs. Norris's doing and feebly tries to defend her crazy relatives and their poor treatment of her.
  • Fanny just shrugs and wishes he'd leave.
  • Sir Thomas then states that Henry came to ask permission to marry Fanny. Sir Thomas thinks this is just great and tells her he approves.
  • He asks Fanny to come downstairs with him so she can talk to Henry herself.
  • Fanny manages to stutter out that she doesn't want to see her suitor.
  • Sir Thomas is confused and Fanny finally blurts out that she doesn't love Henry, though still explains it in a round-about way.
  • Sir Thomas is astonished and can't believe that Fanny's refusing Henry's proposal.
  • He then interrogates his niece and tries to figure out what's going on. Fanny gives vague answers since she can't just come out and say "I didn't like the way he acted around your daughters – who are really bad flirts, by the way – and I think he (and your daughters) are seriously lacking in moral fiber. Speaking of moral fiber, Edmund has it in abundance and I'm actually in love with him."
  • Sir Thomas is beyond confused and won't let the matter drop.
  • He finally tells Fanny that he's quite disappointed in her and thought she had better sense than to refuse someone nice and wealthy like Henry, especially since Henry is obviously crazy about her.
  • Fanny is devastated by his bad opinion of her and bursts into tears.
  • Even Sir Thomas can't lecture someone when they're sobbing and he switches to trying to calm her down some.
  • He decides that Fanny is just confused and shy and that Henry just needs some time to win her over.
  • Sir Thomas decides to tell Henry the news himself since Fanny isn't looking so great after a crying fit and he doesn't want to scare Henry away.
  • He tells Fanny to chill out and that he'll handle things.
  • Fanny calms down but is still miserable.
  • Later on, Sir Thomas comes back to see her and says that he won't mention this engagement mess to anyone so Fanny shouldn't either. Fanny is only too happy to keep her mouth shut.
  • Fanny is still trying to calm down when the butler tells her Sir Thomas wants to see her in his study.
  • Mrs. Norris thinks the butler must mean her but he tells her to sit back down – the boss wants Fanny not her.
  • Fanny goes to the study and finds Henry there waiting for her.

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