Before Sir Thomas leaves for Antigua and while he is gone, Fanny’s favorite room in the house, the East Room, does not usually have a fire going in it. Fanny, who is afraid to ask for things and appear ungrateful, does not ask for one, and no one notices that the room is cold and thinks to offer one. The lack of a fire seems to symbolize the ways in which Fanny is neglected as a child at Mansfield Park. When Sir Thomas returns from Antigua, however, he begins to take more and more notice of Fanny, who has grown more refined and beautiful. Sir Thomas then insists on lighting a fire in the East Room for her. Lighting the fire shows how Fanny has become an important member of the household and how the Bertrams, though they have had difficulty showing it in the past, love and care for her.
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The timeline below shows where the symbol The Fire in the East Room appears in Mansfield Park. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.