Friday, December 6, 2013

Austen Dudes: Edmund Bertram

Fanny is the ultimate friend-zoned heroine, I think. Sister-zoned.

Edmund disappoints me slightly, probably because he is awesome and has potential to become an epic hero. In the beginning, he's the only one that Fanny can count on, that doesn't ignore her, that actually considers her as a human being. Edmund shares Fanny's values, her love of nature and reading - he's actually the one who instilled these in her - and he helps her come out of her shell of shyness.
You'd think that a guy so noble, upright, and honorable like Edmund wouldn't be blinded by someone like Miss Crawford. You'd think that Edmund would see from the beginning that Fanny was made for him - they belong together.

But then there'd be no story. I just feel terrible for Fanny who tells herself that she'd be happy if Edmund fell in love with someone who deserved him.

It's the end that really bugs me. This story somehow doesn't match up to the romance of Austen's other novels. Edmund realizes Miss Crawford has a couple too many flaws to overlook, and it's just impossible for them to marry. But he says that he will never find a woman like her.
But this is Jane Austen, and there has to be a Happily Ever After, so of course Edmund realizes that Fanny has always been there for him, and that he loves her.

But seriously. The entire story has been about Fanny's disappointment at Edward's love of Miss Crawford and then suddenly in the last 5% of the book it flips around and Edward basically says, "Well, I suppose Fanny is great. Hm. Yeah, actually, I think I'll marry her, now that Miss Crawford is out of the question."
It's wrapped up so quickly. There's no budding romance on his side - we see it all from Fanny's perspective, and though Edmund's change from Miss Crawford to Fanny may have taken some time, in words it only adds up to about three sentences.

Not cool, Austen, not cool.

This is why Edmund disappoints me. There's no romance on his side. Fanny seems to be just his second choice when Miss Crawford is deemed dishonorable.

This may not be the real case, of course, but the brevity of words with which Austen deals with the situation just seems to minimize the importance.

Ugh. And Edmund is such an awesome guy - he just needs someone to slap him into some sense.


My other Austen Dude posts:
~Charles Bingley from Pride and Prejudice
~Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey
~Edward Ferrars (and a nod to Colonel Brandon) from Sense and Sensibility
~Fitzwiliam Darcy  from Pride and Prejudice

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