Mansfield Park

mansfield park

Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen’s least likeable books amongst die hard Austen fans.   I only decided to re-read Mansfield Park as it was the first Jane Austen book I saw on my bookshelf.  I have a guilty confession that I am suffering from period drama withdrawal symptoms ever since series three of Downton Abbey ended (over all it was pretty awful I hope there won’t be a series four).

The main character, Fanny Price, at once invokes sympathy and hatred and frustration.  What a reaction towards a fictional character, such is Jane Austen’s skill!  I think the reason the book is not a favourite lies with the main character she does not have the fiestiness of Elizabeth Bennet and is quite a timid character.  Yes, Fanny is a creature moulded by circumstance, experience and by being constantly reminded she is inferior until one fine day everyone in her company realises she is a beautiful swan and not the ugly duckling nobody paid attention to.

I think Fanny’s complex character is genius for the internal debate she invoked both on-page and in the reader.  Fanny is a kind and gentle girl until she falls in love and starts to feel jealousy and even then Fanny is at once described as kind and caring and then behaves in a manipulative manner.  Miss Crawford is the character a woman of our time can relate to, fun loving and bold except Fanny has nothing but scorn for her despite Miss Crawford’s persistant friendliness towards her.

Jane Austen is the queen of observation, conversation and sharp wit.  I think this book is wonderful and the book’s general plot of family, honour and disgrace certainly resonates within South Asian families even today.


One Comment to “Mansfield Park”

  1. I’ve never read this book, thanks for the recommendation!

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