Reading the Classics discussion

114 views
Past Group Reads > Mansfield Park chapters 10-18 (Vol. 1 ch. 10-18)

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Post comments here for these chapters.


message 2: by Lois (new)

Lois (loisbennett) | 22 comments I really am enjoying this book. All the theatrical goings on were great - poor, dear Mr. Rushworth - I feel so sorry for him - he really deserves better than Maria!


message 3: by Jenn, moderator (new)

Jenn | 303 comments Mod
I love the theatricals! Very funny!
Does anyone find Fanny to be depicted as very weak and frail? She needs to have her daily exercise by riding her horse, but she is not strong enough to walk instead. Edmund seems to worry over her health all often. Also, she is easily prone to crying, and is very shy, almost too shy. She chooses for herself to remain on the outskirts of everything and seems very weak-minded. I would have expected more considering Austen's other main characters, particularly Elizabeth Bennett and Emma, are very strong willed and minded. For those of you who haven't seen the movie the following may be a spoiler. I saw the movie before reading the book and loved it. In the movie, Fanny is depicted as very strong and opinionated, much different from Austen's portrayal of her so far in the book.


message 4: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Lois, I do agree with your comment about Mr. Rushworth. He does deserve better than Maria.
Does anyone have any opinions on whether or not they think the parts were picked by the people in the theatrical based on who they seemed to want to act with? Especially Mary Crawford with Edmund.


message 5: by Lois (new)

Lois (loisbennett) | 22 comments Oh, I definitely think they picked the parts so they could pair up with the person they had their eye on! (I'm quite ashamed to say that I speak from experience here...)

Mary is coming across as just one of those people who will poke and scrape almost invisibly until she gets what she wants. I really struggle to believe that Edmund can actually be attracted to her, because he seems like he actually has a bit of sense! But I think it's one of those cases where he loves Fanny, but doesn't realise it yet, and in the meantime he's lulled into thinking maybe Mary's the one... What do you think?


message 6: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
I agree, Lois. It seems that he doesn't quite realize what the kind of love he feels for Fanny actually is. This might be due to the fact that they were brought up together as brother and sister and are cousins. I guess in that time period love/marriage between cousins was not looked down upon as it is now. We shall see if he comes to realize this or stays with Mary.


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin WV | 18 comments I just joined this group, so I'm going to bring this topic back! Jenn, the character of Fanny is a really interesting case. My edition of the book has a comment by Austen on the character--something about how sweet and morally sound she is. She was one of Austen's favorites. But the Fanny of the 1999 movie is sharp-witted and a little more outgoing, something the filmmakers did deliberately to put entertainment value above faithfulness to the original text.

In Austen's letters, she comes across much closer to the movie Fanny or to Mary Crawford. It's my personal opinion that she wrote characters like Fanny (or Jane Bennet) aspirationally. I think she wanted to be more of a patient, kind soul than she was. I'm glad she wasn't, though.

Mansfield Park always puts me on the side of the wrong characters. I never like Fanny and Edmund, but I love the Crawford siblings, and I ADORE Mrs. Norris! She is so amazingly awful.


message 8: by Jenn, moderator (new)

Jenn | 303 comments Mod
It makes sense that filmmakers would deliberately make Fanny sharp-witted and outgoing as that would be more likely to attract women now. In Jane's time, it would have been quite the opposite. Fanny's character may have been much more welcome as having a more acceptable personality. Today strong minded and spirited is desirable for a woman, back then it would have been unacceptable for a lady and potentially deemed her unmarriageable.


message 9: by Aparajita (new)

Aparajita | 8 comments I love the Crawford siblings too :). I find it surprising that Mary Crawford could be attracted to Edmund rather than the other way around, or maybe she was out for what she could get. She added some colour to his rather dull personality. Never understood why they were considered reprehensible. Also, why was it disrespectable to play act? Was it a general thing.

I have read this twice and I think it remains my least favorite Austen, mainly because the heroine is so spineless. Anne Elliott is a much softer character than Elizabeth Bennett, yet she never seemed spineless


message 10: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 106 comments Erin wrote: "Mansfield Park always puts me on the side of the wrong characters. I never like Fanny and Edmund, but I love the Crawford siblings, and I ADORE Mrs. Norris! She is so amazingly awful."

I can't exactly say that I'm on their side, but definitely the Crawfords and Mrs. Norris are the most entertaining characters, and kind of save the book for me. Mrs. Norris is so terrible that I just want to see her have her come-uppance (and I love the ending in that respect). Mary and Henry are dashing, attractive, and have strong personalities. I also enjoy Lady Bertram and her pugs - she has just the opposite of a strong personality, but her languidness and oblivion are amusing.


message 11: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 106 comments Aparajita wrote: "I love the Crawford siblings too :). I find it surprising that Mary Crawford could be attracted to Edmund rather than the other way around, or maybe she was out for what she could get. She added some colour to his rather dull personality. Never understood why they were considered reprehensible. Also, why was it disrespectable to play act? Was it a general thing.

I have read this twice and I think it remains my least favorite Austen, mainly because the heroine is so spineless. Anne Elliott is a much softer character than Elizabeth Bennett, yet she never seemed spineless."


I did think that Edmund was attracted to Mary Crawford because to him, she was exotic and attractive, and it was kind of like he couldn't believe his good luck that she wanted him. Edmund is good and kind, but not that exciting, so I agree that I don't know why Mary wanted him, either. Of course, she didn't want a clergyman, so it was doomed.

I think the Crawfords might be considered reprehensible because they are predators. Henry sets out to win Fanny on a bet, not because he cares about her, and presumably would just dump her once he succeeds. Mary whole-heartedly supports him in this game, and also tries to manipulate Fanny into falling for Henry. Mary is also trying to 'catch' Edmund, even though it is obviously an inappropriate match.

I also consider this my least favorite Austin novel, and also because of the character of Fanny. She is definitely a goody-two-shoes, and rather insufferable. I can't go so far as to say I dislike the novel, because it is Austen, after all (!), and as I said in my previous post, there are other characters that are interesting and/or amusing enough to make it worth while.


message 12: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments I couldn't help but love Mrs. Norris as a character, though I deplore her as a person. She's so despicable! And to think, the only reason she looks down on Fanny is because her own sister simply did not marry for money as she did! How quickly our opinions change when money and status are involved.

I liked the 2008 (I think?) film much better because it portrayed Fanny much closer to the book without making her a complete pushover. I did not like the 1999 version; it felt like a stilted version of P&P and since they are such different stories, it's unfair to try to have the same characters in both.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer  | 163 comments I am trying to catch up with the group. I love Jane Austen and Mansfield Park will be the fourth novel of hers that I have read. I think that I have different feelings about Fanny Price than some. I like her and I think that her personality and character rings true given what we know about her history. Being treated as inferior within the family unit and constantly being reminded of that inferiority is bound to create a more timid, self-conscious personality than for example the Bertram girls.


message 14: by Jennifer (last edited Jun 22, 2013 10:44PM) (new)

Jennifer  | 163 comments Mrs. Norris is a reprehensible person but I too think that she makes for an entertaining and interesting character. She is so transparent. Part of me thinks that what she must enjoy about Fanny is finally having someone within the family unit who occupies a position inferior to her own. Mrs. Bertram is a completely useless shell of a person. Poor Mr. Bertram for having to put up with her.


message 15: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments I agree with you except for poor Mr. Bertram; he did marry her after all. The heroines we see in the other books who "marry up" are all hardworking, strong women who I could never see devolving into such a state. But who knows, wealth does weird things to people.


message 16: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl Tribble | 99 comments Reading the book I was able to pick up that Edward and Fanny protested to the play because it meant that the women playing Agatha and Amelia would be physically touching, and possibly even embracing, some actor. In other words, transgressing the "no touching" rules single ladies were usually held to.

But when I finally looked up the play, turns out the characters that Maria and Henry Crawford are playing are mother and son; I'd assumed they were playing lovers. But in the first act the mother and son rediscover each other after being separated for five years, so there's much passionate dialogue and embracing, very inappropriate for a proper young lady of the time.

I like Fanny and also think her character makes a lot of sense with her personality and background. If she'd had the emotional support Anne Elliot had, she'd be more assertive I suspect, but all things considered, she does all right. She's also a lot younger than Anne; she learns a lot through the events of this novel and might be more assertive by Anne's age even with her more isolated background.

I've always hoped Sir Thomas appreciates Mrs. Bertram because she's so restful. He must have picked her out for *some* reason!


back to top