Chapter 16



I'm reminded of what Buffy said in Earshot, roughly: "They're not ignoring your pain. Everybody is too busy with their own." There's a degree to which one can say self-absorption is a way to ignore other people's pain, (and the people not noticing her aren't necessarily thinking of pain) but I think she has a point. Fanny is an exception because being in a lower position requires noticing the problems of the people above you, even though she is also tender-hearted. And because she knows, unlike Julia, that they're suffering for largely the same reason.

We get to see that both of them harbor mixed feelings towards their rivals, only Fanny can hide it better because she internalized principles and is used to feeling that lower position. I like that it's essentially offering proof against the idea that Fanny is portrayed as saintly and with no thought of herself; she's good, but not so good she can be happy with a woman who is acting very kind to her, all because of jealousy. She didn't want the play, but she still envies Mrs. Grant for being considered and wanted, although Fanny's wise enough to know it wouldn't be the same if she had taken the part herself. She just won't suffer any consequence for those feelings because she won't act on them and is suffering so much already.
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