Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Henry reiterates his passionate love for Fanny, saying he will never give up. Fanny repeats that she does not and cannot love him, but to no avail. Fanny’s manner is too gentle, however, causing Henry to think there is still hope. Unlike previously, when Fanny despised Henry, she now is more sympathetic to him, especially after what he did for William, though she does not think they are compatible for romance. When Fanny leaves, returning to the East Room, Henry shows no signs that he believes he will not succeed in winning her love eventually, and this hubris makes Fanny angry.
Henry’s persistence in pursuing Fanny is considerable, as is Fanny’s persistence in rejecting him. Fanny’s kind manner hides the fact that she is set on never marrying Henry, and this misleads Henry into thinking there is hope. Henry’s confidence is unshakable, and Fanny is too mild-mannered to convince him of her disinterest. Her good manners keep Henry from respecting her wishes.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon
Sir Thomas waits until the next day to hear the news of what happened during their meeting. He meets with Henry, who is disappointed but certain he will eventually win Fanny over. Sir Thomas totally supports Henry in his efforts, and they leave each other on good terms.
Sir Thomas and Henry both serve to benefit from Fanny’s marriage to Henry—for Sir Thomas, because Fanny’s marriage to Henry would relieve him of Fanny as a financial burden.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
Sir Thomas tells Fanny that he spoke with Henry, and thinks he is an exceptional man. Fanny begins to explain the reasons for her rejection again, and Sir Thomas interrupts her, telling her he accepts her reasons and does not need to hear them again, nor do they need to continue to speak of it, especially since Henry will soon leave Mansfield.
Sir Thomas continues to voice his support for Fanny’s match to Henry, but at least respects her decision—though he’ll continue to try to change it. Sir Thomas clearly favors monetary gain to love in marriage, as he showed with Maria’s match.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
Sir Thomas ends up telling Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris what has happened, but even Mrs. Norris does not harass Fanny about it. She is angry that Fanny received the offer instead of Julia, not angry that Fanny refused it. Lady Bertram, for her part, thinks Fanny must be prettier than she realized to attract Henry. She tells Fanny she is happy for her, and that she should take the offer.
Sir Thomas goes back on his promise to not tell anyone about Henry’s proposal. Mrs. Norris is madder that Fanny received the proposal instead of higher-class Julia than she is angry that she rejected it, showing again Mrs. Norris’s obsession with class and consistent disdain for Fanny.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
Inheritance and Meritocracy Theme Icon
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