So I wrote this post years ago, but didn’t post it as I don’t like to write about my friends on my blog-only me. However, as I was going through them I came through this and looked it over again.
Now it has been years since Eliot and I have talked. He stopped responding to any of my texts, or cards, or etc. I think the last time we had a conversation was in 2013. So I don’t feel too bad about sharing this now, especially as I have changed the name. Hopefully if we become friends again he won’t be mad about this. We’ll see…
I haven’t changed anything, but kept it all the same.
Edmund Bertram (1999)
1) Edmund and Mary
-Eliot and Carrie
-Eliot and Liz
-Eliot and Chastity
Why is it that really nice people are always attracted to the wrong kinds of people?
The one thing that always bugged me about Edmund Bertram’s character in Mansfield Park is how stupid he acts with Mary. Why is he so dumb and naive around her? Many of my friends feel I am too hard on Edmund, but when all of Jane Austen’s other heroes are so perfect, it can be hard to adore one who has such an achilles heel.
However, I am getting too far ahead of myself.
In Mansfield Park, Edmund is the younger brother. He is very smart and responsible. His older brother Tom, is supposed to inherit everything, and run the household in his father’s absence, but instead takes off to London to “enjoy” the “good times” that go on there; and Edmund steps up to the plate. At this time, Henry and Mary Crawford come to visit the family; Mary having set her sights on the eldest son to ensure a title and money; and Henry to play around with the Bertram girls. With Tom gone, Mary spends a lot of time with Edmund. She likes things about him and Edmund falls for her.
There is only one problem; Mary hates church, clergyman, and says she will never marry one. She tries to convince Edmund to change his profession, and he is stupidly convinced that she will come around and became a minister’s wife. Edmund sees more in her than is really there. Mary cares only for material goods and being high in society while Edmund has a higher consciousness. Edmund only realizes how wrong he is when:
- Mary tells Edmund how great it would be if Tom died (at this point in the story Tom had grown quite ill and was at death’s door), and he could inherit everything, and not become a minister
- She doesn’t care that her brother and Edmund’s sister Maria committed adultery, but that they were caught. She feels there was nothing wrong with it as long as no one found out.
- Her biggest regret about Maria and Henry is that is ruins her chances in moving up in society
It is then that Edmund finally realizes they have a completely different set of morals and values and could never be together.
The thing that bugs me about Edmund is how long it took him to realize this! I mean she tells you point blank that she will not marry a clergyman. Why can’t you believe that? Why must you torture yourself believing that you can fix her! Why, why, why? Unfortunately this often happens in the real world. We care for people so we become blind to their faults.
I have a friend Eliot, who is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He is sweet, gentle, patient, understanding, etc. He is the type of guy who has no enemies. He has the worst luck with women. It’s REALLY bad! You think someone that nice, would be able to find a worthwhile person, especially since they have so much to offer, but alas he doesn’t.
So first Eliot started dating this girl Carrie. I hated Carrie! She and I were enemies!
She had made it her personal vendetta to be rude and snide to me. And, if one is mean to me I usually reciprocate the same attitude back.
She was an awful person, and completely wrong for Eliot! She started dating Eliot and really yanked him around. He really cared about her, but she just busted him in two. She cheated on him with another guy and left him heartbroken.
Now like Fanny tries to warn Edmund, I tried to warn Eliot. I let him know that Carrie was not the right person for him, but like Fanny, I was dissed and dismissed. Instead, he was convinced that she would change. But like Mary, she didn’t.
Then there was Liz. I told Eliot that Liz wasn’t a great girl. She too liked having boyfriends, she just had trouble staying faithful to them. You think he would have listened this time right? But nooooo….instead they date, they become boyfriend and girlfriend. Then one day they are out on a date and bam Liz picks up a guy and starts making out right in front of Eliot. And not just a simple kiss, but full complete action going on there.
I mean seriously, what were you thinking?
They broke up.
Then came Chastity. Now Chastity I disliked more than Carrie. Chastity would ALWAYS cheat on her boyfriends. She hurt another one of my friends that way.
Oh no you don’t!
He too was a really sweet, great guy; and she just mangled him. Now once again I tried to tell Eliot about her. I warned him that she had a tendency to cheat on her boyfriends and that it was best to just stay away from her. You think after Heartbreaker One and Two he would have listened to me finally…right?
He was convinced that I was “mistaken”, in fact I had to watch what I said about Chastity as he fell really hard for her, so hard that if I made any more comments, our friendship would have been over. Everyone else really liked her. All of his friends liked her. His parents liked her. Her parents liked him. Her friends liked him. Everything was going great…..until it wasn’t.
One day at school I was TAing a class making copies, when another TA, my friend Susan, came into the office room to talk to me. She told me she really liked Eliot and hated the way Chastity treated her boyfriends, and she had something she wanted to tell me. Before the words came out of her mouth I knew that Chastity was cheating again.
This is one of those situations where you know no good will come out. If you tell the person they will hate you, but if you don’t you hate yourself for keeping them in this situation. I knew that he wouldn’t believe me, and even though it was extremely painful I didn’t tell him. I waited and eventually she told him and broke up with him.
It amazes me how he has gone through this and more but doesn’t give up. He still is trying to find a girl that won’t cause him any pain.
At least he was the last time I spoke to him. I don’t know if he still is. It amazes me the people who can be just decimated by something like that, but continue to search for love.
For more Edmund Bertram, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce
For more Mansfield Park, go to Jane Austen Chinese Zodiac