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The Silences in Mansfield Park Essay

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The silences in Mansfield Park are there to tell us something about a character or a scene. Some of Fanny’s silences are there to reveal something about the other characters; sometimes her silences are there for the sake of her character. Fanny began growing up with her large, rambunctious family in a cramped house; then she finishes growing up with the Bertrams. She gets the chance to live in a large country house that is filled with unknowns. These unknowns challenge Fanny because she is naturally shy. Her female cousins who are full of confidence do not understand this part of Fanny. To them, Fanny is their younger, dumber cousin. They criticize her because she does not know the things they know like how to speak French. This causes Fanny to feel more like she does not belong in the Bertram household for a long time. Fanny is silent because that is the role she takes on in the family. The rest of the family is confident to begin with, so they have no problem speaking their minds, especially in front of Fanny. Fanny’s extended family has some silence that reveal things about them, but more often it is the times when they talk that tells the reader about what is happening around them.
Fanny is the background to many conversations in the book. This is when the reader gets glimpses into what the other characters in Mansfield Park are like . At Sotherton, Mary approaches the subject of Edmund’s ordination with him and Fanny. In the whole of this conversation, Fanny only speaks once to say one word, “certainly” (87). She says this because Edmund has her convinced about manners which is conduct. This, of course, leads to more of Fanny’s silence while the other two characters continue to discuss the topic of Edmund’s pro...


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...disapproval of the performance.
The silence creates the personalities of the characters. It also shows the reader what the character of a given person is without all the facades he puts on. The reader gets to know Henry as a flirt instead of the perfect beau. Maria turns out to be a woman with lower moral and social standards then should have come from her high class upbringing. Fanny is transformed from just a girl to a patient, smart, but slightly insecure woman. Mansfield Park’s silences give the reader the full spectrum of how people acted. There are the morally correct and incorrect; the confident and the timid; and the true and false essences of the character. The reader gets to learn and infer things about the world of Mansfield Park through these silences and moments of voice.


Works Cited
Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. New York: Penguin Group, 1966.




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The Silences in Mansfield Park Essay - The silences in Mansfield Park are there to tell us something about a character or a scene. Some of Fanny’s silences are there to reveal something about the other characters; sometimes her silences are there for the sake of her character. Fanny began growing up with her large, rambunctious family in a cramped house; then she finishes growing up with the Bertrams. She gets the chance to live in a large country house that is filled with unknowns. These unknowns challenge Fanny because she is naturally shy....   [tags: Jane Austen, silence, role, family]
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