Essay On Mansfield Park

855 Words4 Pages
The novel Mansfield Park is a record of the growth of Fanny Price and her personality that is shaped by a house Mansfield Park. The structure of Mansfield Park is severely built round the contrast between the girl’s education and its consequences. The career of the heroine Fanny defines a growth in awareness that is capable of ensuring her self-actualisation. Fanny Price not only takes in the impressions of Mansfield Park but also assimilates them into her consciousness. The novel shows her development from immaturity to maturity. This paper focuses on the ordination of Fanny, expansion of her consciousness and the subtle interplay of three aspects of Fanny’s development.
Key Words: self-actualisation, consciousness, ordination, personality.
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Lawall observes in Critics of Consciousness: The Existential Structure of Literature (89). Fanny Price not only takes in the impressions of Mansfield Park but also assimilates them into her consciousness, which shows that her relation to the place is not “in the category of having but in the category of being”(94). Indeed Mansfield Park becomes the essential ground of her very being, a region in her mind defining its movements, responses and impulsions. Mansfield Park is described in the following…show more content…
This is what forms the central dilemma. Fanny is the heroine, but her fate depends on Mary Crawford, hating the office and status of Clergyman. The novel was published in 1814 and its impulse is not to forgive but to condemn. Its praise is not for social freedom but for social status. Fanny Price is overtly virtuous and consciously virtuous. Mary Crawford is the antithesis of any Fanny Price and she is conceived to win the admiration of almost any reader. The strange and perverse rejection of Mary Crawford’s vitality in favour of Fanny’s debility lies at the very heart of the novel’s intention. Fanny is a Christian heroine: it is therefore not inappropriate that the issue between her and Mary Crawford should be concentrated in the debate over whether or not Edmund Bertram shall become a clergyman. Fanny sees the church as a career that claims a man’s best manly energies but for Mary, ordination is a surrender of manhood. In the 19th century England the ideal of professional commitment inherits a large part of the moral prestige of the ideal of the gentleman. Humility is obviously an appropriate virtue for the Christian heroine, but equally important in Jane Austen’s canon is, as always, the impulse towards
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