Fanny’s brother William gives her an amber cross as a gift, but she is distressed about wearing it to his ball because she has no chain to wear it on. William could not afford the gold chain to wear it with, illustrating the struggle for both siblings to fit in with their more fashionable and wealthy relations. They can come close, but they are dependent on others’ generosity. Both Edmund and Henry (though Mary) offer Fanny a chain or necklace to wear with the cross, marking them as the men most likely to provide for Fanny by marrying her. It is symbolic that Harry’s fancier chain does not fit while Edmund’s is picked more carefully to suit Fanny’s needs.
Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
Unknown, “Amber Cross,” The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts, accessed March 30, 2023, https://mfla.omeka.net/items/show/283.