Sense and Sensibility

What does the conversation about forgoing his promise to the Dashwood girls between Fanny and her husband reveal about these two characters?

What does the conversation say about the characters and why does the aurthor spend so much time on this conversation?

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The conversation between Fanny and her husband illuminates Fanny's gift of manipulation and her incessant greediness. It also reveals exactly the member of the marriage who holds all the cards and calls the shots...... and that would be Fanny. Her husband, for lack of a better description is completely and totally henpecked. His initial intentions were good and honest...... he felt a sense of responsibility for his step-mother and the girls and planned to take care of them....... he intended to do what his father asked of him, at least until he opened his mouth and told his wife.

Fanny, during the course of their conversation easily changes John's mind about providing for his father's wife and the girls. Why? Maybe he's afraid of his wife? Maybe he never wanted to take care of them to begin with? Or maybe, he simply doesn't want to listen to his wife's rantings. Unfortunately, as readers, we are left to do the real judging in this situation, and if I had to describe each of them with only one word; Fanny would be ruthless; John would be dishonorable.