Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I don't care what anyone else says, I like Fanny Price! She may not be as outspoken, confident or lively as Elizabeth Bennett or Emma Woodhouse, but then she doesn't enjoy the same privilege of position that they do either. She's the poor relation who's treated more like a servant than a member of the family. In a lot of ways, Fanny Price is Jane Austen's version of Cinderella. She's quiet, long-suffering, generous, and kind, but most of all, she has a good heart. (Plus, she loves books--having "been a collector from the first hour of her commanding a shilling.") And that's why I like her. She's good. (A quality highly under-rated these days.)

What I noticed most as I read Mansfield Park this time around is that the book is really a study in contrasts between Mary Crawford and Fanny Price. They are such opposites. Mary is outgoing and makes conversation easily; Fanny is quiet and shy. Mary needs to be constantly active and amused; Fanny finds contentment in solitude--enjoying her books and her own thoughts. Mary is careless and never chastises her brother, Henry, for his outrageous flirtations; Fanny sees and silently condemns his dishonorable behavior. When Mary has the chance to marry for love, she refuses because Edmund's position in society isn't prominent or important enough for her. Fanny, on the other hand, has the chance to marry a man of wealth and position, but refuses because he's not a man she can love.

So who's more likeable? For me, Fanny wins hands down. And I'm glad that, like Cinderella, she gets her happily ever after in the end. Because she deserves it. So, here's to Fanny! And here's to Austen in August (hosted by roofbeamreader). It's been a lot of fun, and I'm a little sad to see it come to an end.

Happy Reading!

8 comments:

  1. I had such similar feelings towards Fanny! I am yet to get to know Austen's more outspoken heroines, since Mansfield Park and Persuasion are only novels of hers I've read, but I will definitely read others too.

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    1. I love all of Jane Austen's heroines, but I have a soft spot in my heart for both Fanny and Anne. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    2. I'm not sure about Fanny Price, but I love Anne! Persuasion is my favourite Austen and Anne is my favourite Austen heroine...

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    3. Anne is a great character; she's so sad at first...maybe that's why you root for a happy ending for her so much.

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  2. You need to squeeze in a showing of Austenland before the month is up!

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    1. I really want to; maybe this weekend.

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  3. I read Mansfield Park this month, too. It was my first read of this novel, and I loved how Fanny started off quiet and watching, and gradually found her place in the family. Her aunt and uncle grow to appreciate her, and Edmund, who has been on her side from the time she was small, finally realizes she is his match. I am now a fan of Fanny, too! She definitely earned her happy ending. I am racing to the end of Northanger Abbey...but will be sad when Austen in August ends, too. Oh well! There is always next summer!

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    1. I'm glad you appreciate Fanny, too. I have yet to meet an Austen heroine, however, that I don't like. Happy Reading!

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