Women's Education in Mansfield Park Essays

Women's Education in Mansfield Park Essays

Length: 1755 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Women's Education in Mansfield Park

    In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen presents three different kinds of formal

education for women. Two of these have the ultimate goal of marriage, while the

third is, possibly, as close to a gentleman's education as a woman's could be.

Although there is some overlapping of these three types, each one is, basically,

embodied in one of the major female characters -- Maria Bertram, Mary Crawford,

and Fanny Price -- to show the follies and the triumphs of each. Unlucky Maria's

education teaches her next to nothing, and Mary's has no true substance below

the bright surface. The timid, mousy Fanny Price, however, may be partly in debt

to her progressive education for the happiness that she earns at the end of the



            In Austen's world, a girl's education was almost inseparable from

her home life. What she learned and, consequently, her conduct, was often a

reflection of what her household was like, and this is certainly true of Maria

and Mary.


            Maria, brought up by a distant father, an indolent mother, and an

indulgent aunt, doesn't learn until too late that selfish actions can bring

disastrous consequences. (What is said for Maria in the subject of education is,

of course, also true for Julia -- however, for the sake of brevity, and as Maria

is the more prominent character of the two, she is the model of comparison in

this essay.) Sir Thomas regrets his neglect of his daughters' moral education

after Maria's character is exposed:


He had meant them to be good, but his cares had been directed to the

understanding and manners,...

... middle of paper ...

...           Fanny fares the best of the three characters discussed, by being

true to herself, and by being considerate of others. She receives what is due to

her, as a classical hero does -- she is torn away from her rightful place as

eldest sister, to be thrust into a lowly position where she must prove herself

worthy before returning to her first home. There, she finds things have changed

for the worst, but helps set things right before riding away to a new life of

domestic felicity. The way Fanny was brought up, her moral and formal education,

are akin to tools and amulets carried by mythical heroes -- they may not always

be obvious, but they are a source of strength and comfort in the hero's times of



Works Cited

Austen, Jane.  MansfieldPark. 1814. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Mansfield Park’s Fanny Price Essay

- Jane Austen’s novels are recognized for their competent heroines. From Elizabeth of Pride and Prejudice to Anne Elliot of Persuasion, Austen’s heroines are independent, indomitable, and intellectual. Mansfield Park’s protagonist Fanny is viewed in the eyes of countless readers as weak, quiet, and even snobbish. Yet when her accomplishments in the Bertram household are taken into account, Fanny reappears as a deeper figure. Fanny Price, though reserved and sullen at times, aptly presents herself as a determined and ethically sound character in a family marked by wanton behavior....   [tags: Jane Austen's Mansfield Park]

Powerful Essays
476 words (1.4 pages)

Jane Austen 's Pride And Prejudice, Emma, Sense And Sensibility, And Mansfield Park

- Many people read Jane Austen’s fiction novels and only see her writing as cliché and old fashioned. But her stories have a classic, undying theme to them. Stories that are still relatable to readers today. In the last 10 years Austen’s books have been made into a number of television adaptations. Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. Not only do we see Austen’s story lines through her books and the movies, but many modern authors and movie directors use Austen as an inspiration when writing their books and movie scripts....   [tags: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice]

Powerful Essays
2064 words (5.9 pages)

Katherine Mansfield 's `` Miss Brill `` Essay

- Katherine Mansfield, author of “Miss Brill”, and Eudora Welty, author of “A Worn Path”, differ in their writing techniques, as well as, the portrayal of the two different women in the titles mentioned. “Miss Brill”, by Katherine Mansfield, is a woman, with a sense of entitlement, passing judgement during her traditional Sunday morning in the park. She later becomes upset when a young couple passes judgement on her. Phoenix Jackson, of “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, is the complete opposite character of Miss Brill....   [tags: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Jackson, Mississippi]

Powerful Essays
1528 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about Mary Wollstonecraft and Education for Women

- ... The patriarchal structure of society allocates a distinct relationship between the inequality prevalent between male and females, placing women in a secondary and submissive position within society allows men to remain dominant and in control of the very society women exist in. an example of this in Austen’s Mansfield park can be seen in the character of Sir Thomas as the head of the family he is responsible for guiding and protecting his family, this role which he plays is portrayed within the novel as a necessity....   [tags: enlightenment, social change]

Powerful Essays
1730 words (4.9 pages)

The Silences in Mansfield Park Essay examples

- The silences in Mansfield Park reveal the nature of each character. Fanny’s silences reveal her inner self, the core of morals. They reveal that while Fanny looks like a timid, frail being but inside she possess a set of principle that are unyielding to any outside force. Through her silence, Fanny becomes the selfless conscience of Mansfield Park. Fanny is strong-willed in her steady continual silence. She is sole unmoving thing in a fluid, ever moving time. Fanny grew up in a large, ever-growing household, where quiet was so hard to come by....   [tags: Mansfield Park, Jane Austen, silence]

Powerful Essays
1257 words (3.6 pages)

The Search for a Home in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park Essay

-        Jane Austen's Mansfield Park is a novel obsessed with home and family.  It begins a story of one family, three sisters, and quickly expands to a story of three families, the Bertrams, the Prices, and the Norrises.  Family upon family is added, each one growing, expanding, and moving until the novel is crowded with characters and estates.  An obsession with movement creates an overall feeling of displacement and confusion.  Fanny Price is moved from Portsmouth to Mansfield and then back to Portsmouth and back to Mansfield....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
2069 words (5.9 pages)

Essay The Importance of Home and Family in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

- The Importance of Home and Family in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park      "They were a remarkably fine family...and all of them well-grown and forward of their age, which produced as striking a difference between the cousins in person, as education had given to their address." (Austen, 49)  Within the first few pages of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen implants in the minds of her readers the idea that contrasting and conflicting environments are the forces that will decide the heroine's fate.  Austen's own home and family influenced her life, writing, and the creation of the homes in her novels, and in turn, shaped her heroines....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
1435 words (4.1 pages)

Sexuality and Desire in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park Essay

- Sexuality and Desire in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park        In a letter to her brother dated 1814, Jane Austen boasted about a compliment she had received from a friend on her most recent work, Mansfield Park: "It's the most sensible novel he's ever read" (263). Austen prided herself on creating literature that depicted realistic characters and honest situations, but perhaps more importantly, she strove to create fiction that was moral and instructional as well as entertaining. So what does sensible say about the sexual....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
3071 words (8.8 pages)

Essay about Character Development in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

- Character Development in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park Character: the combination of emotional, intellectual, and moral qualities distinguishing one person from another. Character is a very important part of the human make-up. It is something that time matures and experience sharpens. It is the invisible blueprint of our souls, and only a lifetime can produce the full potential of one's character. Thus, how does an author develop a character to its fullest potential when there are only so many pages to be filled....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
914 words (2.6 pages)

The Character of Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park Essay

- The Character of Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park    For any character there are three main ways of learning about them. Firstly, how the character themselves thinks and behaves. Secondly, how other characters respond to the character. Lastly, how the author discusses the character is very revealing. Each of these views of Mrs. Norris is provided by the author. Mrs Norris is only related to Mansfield Park through her sister, Lady Bertram. While she may not have managed to make the affluent marriage that her sister did, there is no doubting her love of money....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)