Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mansfield Park

I recently finished Mansfield Park, in audiobook format. At first I thought this would be a Cinderella story, where Fanny overcome the adversity of being a near-orphan living with her wealthier relations. As the story continued it became more and more complicated.

I kept wanting Fanny to become more assertive. Instead I started to see her as a blank slate where her total virtue was used to show the shorctomings of her cousins, aunts, uncle, and all the other characters. It wasn't until the end of the book where she goes to visit her family that she showed some reactions of her own.

I didn't understand why Fanny and Edmund opposed the play so much. Was it just too show that it could lead to temptation? After a while I got tired of hearing about propriety so much. I read somewhere that Jane Austen had participated in amateur theatricals with her family. Did she oppose it or did she just use this situation to make the story?

Also it was obvious that Fanny would end up with Edmund. Didn't they worry then about first cousins marrying? And he never seemed to really understand her in spite of all his kindness.

I loved the characters in this book. Aunt Norris and Lady Bertram are fabulous. Henry and Mary Crawford are also great. I have known people like this and will think of these characters when I meet more. I can see coming back to this story again. I think next time I will read it, although I really liked the audiobook version.