Reading the Classics discussion

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Past Group Reads > Mansfield Park chapters 32-40 (Vol. 3 ch. 1-9)

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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 Finished it today... not quite sure what to make of it... I think a lot of it was good, but some of it was confusing and not all of it was very 'Austen'... I don't think it's her best work. What did everyone else think?


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (procrastisarah) | 6 comments Poor Fanny; looks like Uncle Thomas was correct. Her biological parents house is rather different..


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

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Sarah, yes, it seems like Fanny wishes she was back at Mansfield. She also appears to appreciate her upbringing there now, which is what I think Sir Thomas was hoping would happen.


message 5: by Jenn, moderator (new)

Jenn | 303 comments Mod
It's sad that she doesn't fit in with her own family. She even enjoys letters from Mary because they remind her of her life at Mansfield. Sir Thomas could be right in supposing Mr. Crawford may now have a chance.


message 6: by Erin (last edited Aug 01, 2012 08:21AM) (new)

Erin WV | 18 comments I love the glimpse of Fanny's parents' home. One of the drawbacks of marrying for love in a pre-birth control era is having a million children, more than you can really afford. I love that they're a bit dirty and low-class, it was a real stretch of Austen's milieu. Other writers, especially those who lived less sheltered lives than Austen, have done that type of thing better (Dickens, for example), but I like that she put it in here. A nod towards something different. Persuasion, too, has all those characters who are sailors and sailors' wives, and they are kind of a breath of fresh air on exiting the drawing room.


message 7: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments Erin, I like your thoughts about Austen's insertion of the "lower classes." It is refreshing and real, much in the way that the inclusion of some discussion of the issue of slavery was earlier in the story with Fanny's uncle. Austen branches out into some very interesting political and social issues of the time, instead of simply the love story before the wedding. In fact, I found the premise of the story very interesting because it's exactly the opposite of a lot of Austen's other stories; here, we are getting to see the aftermath of one of these "unequal" marriages where one side came in with money and the other did not. This is how it can divide families and cause siblings even to look down upon one another.


message 8: by Sheryl (last edited Dec 19, 2013 06:25PM) (new)

Sheryl Tribble | 99 comments I really like that Fanny remembers Susan with less fondness than the sister who died, and how she gets from there to understanding and befriending Susan. Also good to see her getting a library subscription and buying the knife and otherwise initiating things to benefit herself and others.

She misses Mansfield a lot, but I don't see it encouraging any love for Mr. Crawford. Part of the reason she doesn't want to marry Henry Crawford is that he doesn't offer what she most loves about Mansfield -- the peace, the quiet, the organization, the predictability, the moral tone of her aunt and uncle Bertram.

When she draws his attention by shaking her head at Crawford, he's saying that, as a minister, he wouldn't want to have to preach every Sunday, and concludes, "not for a constancy; it would not do for a constancy." While Fanny disapproves of a minister who preaches primarily to be admired, I think it goes deeper than that; Fanny's dislike of Henry is the fact that he is not constant.

Just as he does not want to be faithful and dependable as a preacher, I think she rightly senses that he will not be faithful and dependable as a lover or a husband. That predictable reliability is a big part of what she misses about Mansfield, and missing that part of Mansfield isn't likely to bring her any closer to accepting Crawford.


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