Mansfield Park


"FANNY EMERGES VICTORIOUS SIMPLY BECAUSE THE OTHERS FALTER" (MARY POOVEY) DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS READING OF FANNY?S ROLE IN ?MANSFIELD PARK?
Mansfield Park has sometimes been considered as atypical of Jane Austen as being solemn and moralistic. Poor Fanny Price is brought up at Mansfield Park with her uncle and aunt. Where only her cousin Edmund helps her with the difficulties she suffers from the rest of the family, and from her own fearfulness and timidity. When the sophisticated Crawfords (Henry and Mary) visit the Mansfield neighbourhood, the moral sense of each marriageable member of the Mansfield family is tested in various ways, but Fanny emerges unscathed.
We need to look at the way Austen portrays Fanny Price after the wit and vivacity of her earlier heroines, it is often wondered how Austen could have created such a character as Fanny Price.
Fanny is a Christian heroine who is submissive, physically delicate and all too collusive with the privileged world of Mansfield Park. Having Fanny as the heroine displaces the energy and vitality of Mary Crawford. However Fanny is the heroine of this novel and we have to discover if she is only the heroine due to the fact that all the other characters in the novel falter in some way.
When Fanny comes to Mansfield she is an extremely timid young girl who is afraid of everyone and everything, it is her quiet passive manner that conceals this constant terror that leads to her nightly sobbing.
It is Edmund who unlocks her feelings, he knows that she is clever, has a quick apprehension and a love for reading. He also understands her love for reading, her need to feel important and her capacity to be so. Fanny herself has to learn to have faith in her own good sense and develop the strength to be able to transmit it to others.
From one point of view, Fanny price is an interesting psychological study in the manners and attitudes of her insecure and traumatised personality.
Here is a look at a psychologist reading of Fanny Price:
 She presents a clam, pleasant face to the world
 She is seen as reticent and even shy
 She demonstrates cool reserve towards others, but inside she is anything but distant
 Cares deeply about a few special persons or causes
 Has a profound sense of honour derived from internal values
 She is willing to make unusual sacrifices for someone or something she believes in
 She seeks unity of body, mind and soul
 Has a tragic motif running through her life that the others do not detect
 Shows deep commitment to the good and is always alert for the bad
 Adaptable to new information and ideas
 Well aware of people and their feelings and relates well to most people whilst keeping some psychological distance
 Prefer to live in harmony and she will go to great lengths to avoid constant conflict
 Tends to be compliant, prefers decisions to be made for her until her value system is violated she will not budge from her ideals
It is true that while reading the novel we develop an impatience with Fanny?s more censorious or prim judgements. This may be moderated by the history of displacement Jane Austen has provided for Fanny: the years of intimidation she has endured from Mrs Norris and her dependence on Edmund, whose kindness comes with instructions for her of how she should behave.
Fanny has a disapproving attitude towards Mary. We are never sure whether this is due to Fanny?s morals or her jealousy of the way Edmund is fixated with her.
As a result of Edmunds? coaching, Fanny?s moral attitudes in general are over determined, so it is quite easy for us to think of her as modelling a ?conduct manual?.
There are several passages within ?Mansfield Park ?where Jane Austen smiles kindly on, our heroines, Fanny Price, foibles thus allowing us to be able to.

Chapter 10 is the first one [during the visit to Sotherton]:

After another pause, he [Mr Rushworth] went on - "Pray, Miss Price, are you such a great admirer of this Mr Crawford as some people are? For my part, I can see nothing in him."

"I do not think him at all handsome."

"Handsome! Nobody can call such an undersized man handsome. He is not five foot nine. I should not