Mary Crawford has been a character that I ignore while I read Mansfield. There are a lot of personality traits that make her stand out. Mary is gives us a view at her desires both internal and external. When we talk about internal desires and self-policing, I think there is an apparent example with Mary and her desire for Edmund. She has this longing for love and relationships and friendship with Fanny but remains in check to who she is and what she wants. She is of higher class and with that expects more when it comes time to pick or be arranged with another. She has ideas of incomes and occupations that will fulfill a certain societal need for her external desires. She even critiques Edmunds name. “ I mean to be too rich to lament or to feel any thing of the sort. A large income if the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” (197) Here we can clearly see the difference in desires just between Edmund and Mary and their interpretations of what they believe to be appropriate for their needs. Their differences in upbringings and personalities play a large role in their differentiating views. Mary continues to display a contradictory role throughout the novel playing with Edmund’s heart. She tugs at the corners giving him false hope then attacks him with opinions that are the antithesis to what he believes and holds close. So far in the novel we’ve looked upon Maria as the one who is dangerous with love and lust and her flirtatious demeanor with Henry, but now that she is out of the picture, that new villain becomes Mary. We see this in the play with Maria and Henry and Mary and Edmund are in the background. Mary gave hints that she wanted Edmund to play her complimentary role, and the words literally spell out I love you.
The interesting part of it all is Mary befriends Fanny and takes a liking to her. She gives Fanny the chance to be a person with an opinion and a mind of her own. However, I sense ulterior motives that Mary uses Fanny to one, make herself feel better about herself, and two, to bring her closer to Edmund.
Mary may just be another character in this novel, but to me she is one of the antagonists.