Mansfield Park, the novel, or Mansfield Park the film? Essay

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There have been many adaptations of Jane Austen's books over the years; all six of her novels have been made into films or television dramas with varying degrees of success, from the classics of Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, to the funny modern version of Emma in the form of Clueless. In this paper I want to show how director Patricia Rozema has made Austen's novel Mansfield Park much more modern, accessible, and, as some claim, radical, by skipping parts of the story that would make the film version drag, and importing events and dialogue that have significance into scenes, often created by Rozema, that are more appealing.
There is always controversy whether a Jane Austen masterpiece can be adequately
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I will go into that in more detail later in this paper.
There is some debate whether the film should be called ‘Patricia Rozemas Mansfield Park’, as opposed to Jane Austen's, as Derek Elley points out in his review of the film. He claims Rozema:
‘reinterprets the central character, Fanny Price, as a cross between Austen herself and a tomboyish proto-feminist, throws in some magical realism and gratuitous lesbian frissons to spice up the pot, and too often steps out of its era to adopt a knowing, politically correct, late-20th-century attitude to the society portrayed....’

Though all of her books deal with social matters, manners, and small family communities, Mansfield Park is arguably one of Jane Austen’s duller novels, lacking a truly lovable heroine and breezing over issues that, had she gone into more detail, would have made the book a lot more controversial and readable for 21st century readers.
Rozema has been very liberal with the changes in her film, transforming Fanny from a doormat of a woman who irritates many readers with her timid and pious ways into a spirited young woman whom David Bezanson describes in his review of the film as a ‘sassy, '90s, politically-aware attitude girl who shows up the fatuousness of most of the other characters’. Henry Crawford, and the Bertram sisters also get slightly reinvented, portrayed in the film as more endearing (the scenes in which he visits Fanny in Portsmouth) and dim respectively.
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