Before the ball at Mansfield Park, William gives Fanny a beautiful cross meant to be hung from a necklace. She has no chain to hang it from, however. When she expresses this concern, Mary gives Fanny a beautiful, decorative gold chain that Henry gave to her—at Henry’s request. The same day, Edmund gives her a simpler gold chain that suits her better, but when he learns of Henry’s gift, he tells Fanny to wear Henry’s instead. Ultimately, Fanny cannot wear the one that Henry gave her through Mary, because it does not fit the cross. The two different gold chains symbolize the two different options that Fanny has in Henry and Edmund. Henry’s chain’s ornateness and apparent expense represent how Henry, with his wealth and charm, might seem like the right choice for Fanny. However, Edmund’s chain, which is simpler and more fitting to Fanny’s tastes, is the one that actually fits her needs. Significantly, Edmund’s chain fits the cross, symbolizing how Edmund fits better with Fanny’s sense of morality and religiosity.
Gold Chains Quotes in Mansfield Park
Two lines more prized had never fallen from the pen of the most distinguished author— never more completely blessed the researches of the fondest biographer. The enthusiasm of a woman’s love is even beyond the biographer’s. To her, the handwriting itself, independent of anything it may convey, is a blessedness. Never were such characters cut by any other human being as Edmund’s commonest handwriting gave! This specimen, written in haste as it was, had not a fault; and there was a felicity in the flow of the first four words, in the arrangement of “My very dear Fanny,” which she could have looked at for ever.