Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why Defend A Bore?

First- before I explain the interesting title- I just want to say that I have my background all set up.  I hope you like it!
It took forever...
So you had better like it!
ANYWAY.  (Have you noticed I say that a lot?)
Why defend Edmund Bertram a bore?
Because even though I think he's boring, he still deserves a (hopefully) able defense.  So I am going to do a brief post on why Edmund Bertram deserves to be classified with the likes of Henry Tilney, George (ugh! I hate that name!) Knightley, and Mr. (Fitzwilliam is a ridiculous name) Darcy.
A note: This post is NOT meant to defend the movie Edmunds.  THEY cannot be defended.  In my opinion anyway.  Johnny Lee Miller is Mr. Knightley and nobody else, and the other guy does not look like Edmund should look.
ANYWAY.  (See last time I said this.)
In the beginning of Mansfield Park, Edmund has his first scene with Fanny when she's 10 years old and crying on the steps because she misses her home.  Instead of teasing or ignoring her, he stops, asks what's wrong, and then tries to comfort her. 'Nuff said, really.
After a few chapters, the book speeds up until Fanny is 18 and the Crawfords come to visit.  At first, Edmund disapproves of Mary Crawford because she speaks disrespectfully about her uncle and she's...well, pretty much just sassy a lot.  However, he soon falls in love with her.  He still doesn't approve of her behavior, but he blames it on her upbringing and I think that he also hopes that if he marries her, she'll learn better manners.  Then later, when he falls more deeply in love with her, well..."love is blind," after all, and he just stops noticing it.
Some people say that the ending is too abrupt, but I think that it works out perfectly.  Jane Austen slips in little hints all along.  Namely: he corresponds with Fanny, gives her a necklace, and makes her his principal confidante.  It's an easy step to fall in love from there.
Edmund is kind, loving and willing to sacrifice his dignity to keep the family name respectable.  He doesn't approve of the play the Bertrams plan, and he originally tries to dissuade them from it.  However, when they need another actor and are thinking of going to get one from among their neighbors, he compromises and takes a part to keep the play private.  When his father gets home, he tells Sir Thomas exactly what happened and doesn't try shift the blame onto anyone else.  The only person he tries to defend is Fanny.
So, while Edmund Bertram may not be as humorous as Tilney, as chivalrous as Knightley or as romantic as Darcy, while he may be boring and dull, he is every bit a classical hero.  Brave, respectable, loving and kind-hearted.  What more do you want from a hero?
Those are my thoughts.  Please let me know yours in the comments below!
-Miss Jane Bennet

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