Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 34

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Chapter 34

  • Edmund returns home and is a clergyman now.
  • He quickly gets caught up on the stuff with Henry and he fully approves of the match.
  • However, Edmund thinks that Henry went about this the wrong way and shouldn't have sprung his proposal on Fanny. Fanny has to be slowly eased into things, like a reluctant swimmer dipping her toes in the water before jumping in. Henry just tried to toss Fanny into the deep end of the pool, so to speak.
  • Henry comes back to woo Fanny some more.
  • He tries to impress her by reading some Shakespeare aloud. He and Edmund discuss plays and the art of reading aloud and oration, or public speaking.
  • Lady Bertram is impressed, however, and says that Henry is a rather good actor.
  • Even Fanny is interested when Henry is reading aloud but tries to ignore him for the sake of keeping up her stance.
  • Lady Bertram asks if Henry will ever do any theater at his house and Henry says no quite loudly since Fanny definitely wouldn't like him to come over.
  • Edmund and Henry discuss public speaking and sermons, but this just makes Fanny disapprove of Henry more as he makes light of sermons and the like.
  • Henry notices his love is frowning and pesters her until she finally tells him that he's not serious or steady enough for her taste.
  • Henry finally understands what her problem is and tells her that he'll prove to her that he really can be constant and responsible.
  • He insists that he loves her and that he'll prove himself worthy of marrying her.
  • Fanny is still miserable since Henry just won't quit.

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