Morality was slowly losing a battle against the modern way of life in the 19th century. The modern London way enticed many and they happily surrendered their old fashioned norms and rules for the fashionable and exotic freedom that was encountered in the city. The Bertram household was an example of the very many that re converting at a fast rate but amongst them was Fanny Price who stood her ground and kept her morals high and above all other wrong intentions. Jane Austen concentrates on the victimisation of Fanny from her cousins and how she resists all temptations.
For most people being in the centre of attention is neither embarrassing nor unusual. However during the 19thcentury, this attack made by her cousins is very unexpected and rare. Good old fashioned Fanny is thrust into this situation and her only defence is Miss Crawford who symphasises for her. Although Miss Crawford provided some comfort, Fanny cant forget such negative attitude from her cousins and cant figure why theyre so upset. Her mind is not as clear as before and she questions her morals to remind her of her place. Fanny relies on her, morals, norms and rules to guide her in her decisions.
Fannys status in the Bertram household is very low due to the fact that not only is she a woman but she is also poor. She is below all her immediate relatives and is only slightly hovering above the maids. Her status influences the way her family treats her and she is therefore neglected and discriminated by her family in particular Mrs. Norris who can only take advantage of Fanny which is shown in Mrs. Norris was tolerably resigned to her having what nobody else wanted. Her unpleasant experience is greatly emphasised by her lack of wealth and her gender as a female.
Fanny Price as we have seen is resigned to having any leftovers and is obliged for the simplest things. Her gratitude continues to grow when she remembers all the thoughtful gifts that cousins have given her as shown in the sight of present upon present that she received from them, She even starts to question her morals to whether she should side step her morals to please her cousins because she is used to doing what she is told but in the end Fanny places her morals above all which shows her highly guarded respect for them.
The Bertram sisters are rarely mentioned in relation to morality since they are not a level where they value old fashions norms and morals. The Bertram sisters are very eager to act in the play even with the knowledge of sexual content featuring in the play proving their disrespect of morals and more so is furthered by the flirting by the oldest Bertram sister even though she is engaged to Mr. Rush worth. The Bertram sisters are excited by the London modern life and welcome it with open hands with no guilt whatsoever to their lack of morality.
Edmund the third most important person in the Bertram households asked Fanny, his poor relative for her opinion and advice. This extends her worth especially since she is a woman which makes this inquiry unexpected and very rare in those times. This gesture made by Edmund flatters fanny and shows his respect for her due to their shared views on morality and his equality with her on a moral basis.
Edmund covers his tracks with the use of exceedingly charming English that gives more importance to his claims of self righteousness .The complex English persuades Fanny with the help of short sentences which give a sense of having numerous reasons to help Edmund gain Fannys approval. The rule of three influences Fannys decision along with rhetorical questions such as Can you mention any other measure by which I have a chance of doing as much good? This puts Fanny on the spot and she is forced to lighten the situation by giving him a small bit of satisfaction.
Austen magnifies Fannys inner turmoil through a succession of rhetorical questions which amplify her thoughts concluding distress and confusion. The rule of three and repetition emphasises Fannys judgement of the situation. These devices all contribute and highlight Fannys obvious misery and unhappiness towards the unfortunate circumstances.
Fanny Price blames Miss Crawford for the change in Edmunds behaviour due to the seductive influence on him. Fanny price resorts to holding Miss Crawford responsible since she is a woman which was considered second to man and were to take the blame for everything. Fanny also blames Miss Crawford since she witnessed her cunning ways as stated in She had seen her influence in speech. She also noticed how they tempted Edmund into dismissing his morals all for the approval and admiration by Miss Crawford.
Fanny the last standing moral figure in the Bertram household has surrendered to the fact that modernity has taken over her family.-no matter-it was all misery now, this statement shows the end and that there is no longer hope for old fashioned morals in not only the Bertram household but the whole of England and soon the world. Edmund and Fanny who were regarded as equal moralists have been separated by the interference by the Crawfords who symbolise the modern London life. Although Fanny will still keep her morals high, whether or not she sucumbers to acting in the play, Fanny believes that nothing will ever be the same again.