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Lecture 19

Lecture 19 - 131118.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Deidre Lynch

Lecture 19 – 131118 Mansfield Park Fanny's modesty and purity - to be compared to the landscape (the improvements to make things more natural and pure) Austen take home test - questions will be given out on Nov 27th - you will need to discuss more than one novel (they will be emailed in) Mansfield Park - can be the epitome of English/British traditions except it takes most of its wealth from a slave plantation in Antigua • Mansfield Park's reliance on the slave trade in Antigua has created two very different interpretations of the novel 1. Edward Said - Fanny and William Price represent a new and improved imperialism - "to earn the right of Mansfield Park one must leave home as an indentured servant...Thomas Bertram her mentor the man which she inherits his estate" 2. Other critics do not think Fanny is the heir of Mansfield Park, feminist critics who responded to Said - they say that Austen wants to like Fanny's condition to that of a slave at Mansfield Park - the enslavements of Africans, is to compare to Fanny as a white woman in the marriage market i. Fanny as a prisoner of sort - Pg. 270 the arrival of the tea urn "delivers Fanny from a grievous imprisonment of body and mind" - it is a strange imprisonment, she is being brought tea yet she is imprisoned • Pg. 279 - "he led her directly with the kind authority of a privileged guardian" - Austen wants us to stop and listen to Fanny's imprisonment - it may be Fanny's slave-like moments are because Fanny is a passive character she is not active and rather looks on than doing something • "why does he mean to make her in love with him why does he want to put a small hole in her heart" - He wants what he cant have, they want to challenge her devotedness and purity of Fanny - Henry Crawford Fanny's modesty and her purity - the concerns with purification (the improvements) as well Fanny's thought of her mother's being unsanitary in her home in Portsmouth, in a figurative way the novel ends with a resolution of separating bad and good characters (and the bad having to leave Mansfield) • A letter Austen wrote "now I will try to write of something self...a complete change of subject...ordination(Edmund as a clergyman)" - this letter makes Scholars think that Edmund's profession in the church is the centre of the novel - but it may be Fanny who is ordained in a figurative way - she seems to be better suited to the role of a spiritual guide than Edmund • Modesty guarantees sexual propriety "wanting a wife with principles" - it has to do with the illegitimacy that the woman bares. • There is a way in which Fanny's modesty is sexy and flirtatious to Henry Crawford pg. 184 - "he is no longer in doubt in the capabilities of her heart she has feelings, capable excite the first ardours of her young unsophisticated mind...she interested him more than he had foreseen" o This is the moment when Fanny is loving her brother - this again creates a love triangle, Henry as jealous of William receiving the love from Fanny - yet Henry does not know Fanny, he doesn’t know she is already desirous of Edmund • Opening of volume 3 - Self-serving account of Fanny's modest, when Sir Thomas interrogates Fanny - there is something vaguely gothic "suddenly the sound of a step...she had trembled at it…" o Sir Thomas returning from Antigua takes a slight notice of Fanny's sexuality, remarking on her figure and wanting her to get married to Henry Crawford o Architecture becoming a player in this episode - He cannot understand Fanny's response to the news of Crawford's proposal to her "am I to understand you mean to refuse Mr. Crawford…There is something in this that my comprehension does not reach...Fanny I think you do not know your own feelings…this is beyond me...this requires is hardly possible that your affections that however so modest a girl so incompatible with innocence" • He is trying to find out if her heart belongs to someone else - and she blushes - Fanny knows herself and you can see Austen developing a new understanding of female characteristics not like Elizabeth who is blind to her own feelings - Fanny knows she is desirous but she wants to conquer it and keep it secret and confined- she is a hero of self control The novel and the ordination plot - that works for both Edmund and Fanny • The interesting thing about thinking Fanny in these terms would be giving her a profession as well, • Ordin
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