Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park Chapter 42 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next day, a Sunday, Henry joins the family, all dressed in their Sunday best, for church. After the service, Henry and Fanny join Mrs. Price on her weekly walk around town. The weather is very good, and Fanny and Henry enjoy themselves immensely.
Fanny continues to enjoy Henry’s company, and the fact that he attended church with them shows that he is trying to align his values more closely with Fanny’s.
Themes
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon
They discuss the fact that Fanny has been in Portsmouth for one month, and intends to stay for two. They also talk about Henry’s business dilemmas and moral qualms. Henry tells Fanny that he knows that the inhabitants of Mansfield can sometimes be neglectful to her, and tells her that if she needs someone to take her back to Mansfield at the end of the second month, or even before, he would be happy to do it. Henry also suggests that Susan, who would benefit from a change of environment immensely, should join them.
Henry’s offer to take Fanny away from Portsmouth to Mansfield shows his attention to Fanny, and his acknowledgement that the Bertrams can neglect her puts himself as a more attentive caretaker than even Edmund. Though Fanny is wary of Henry’s kindness, he certainly knows the right things to say.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon
When their walk is over, Henry says goodbye to Fanny. He asks if she needs anything from London, and Fanny tells him to send her love to Mary and to tell Edmund to write her. Henry leaves, refusing an invitation to dinner.
Henry again refuses an invitation to dinner, showing how, while he will spend time with Fanny’s family, he will not entertain their equality by eating with them.
Themes
Inheritance and Meritocracy Theme Icon
Fanny eats her unappealing dinner, and then spends the rest of the day sad that Henry is gone, which surprises her. Still, Fanny wonders if, now that Henry has made it clear that he cares for her, he will stop pursuing her, since she finds it distressing.
Fanny thinks that if Henry really cares for and understands her, he will realize that his pursuit is hopeless. However, it seems like he might have a chance, since Fanny is warming to him.
Themes
Money and Marriage Theme Icon
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