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? How does one character, or many, change, grow, and differ from what they appeared to be on the first page to what they have become on the last? It is an art indeed. One, that the author of this paper can only trace the steps of another to find the secret of.
Mansfield Park, written by Jane Austen, was first published in 1814. It was her third book and undoubtedly overshadowed by the huge success of her first two books, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. The book, all the same, is another one of her masterpieces. Just like the rest, it is full of English high society in the early 1800's, the struggle of love and money in those times, the idea of what propriety and modesty really were, and most of all, the complexity of character and the shock of the shallowness sometimes embedded instead.
One of Jane Austen's greatest talents is the marvelous job she does of developing her characters. The main character of Mansfield Park is Miss Fanny Price. The first description of Fanny starts out as her being, "small for her age, with no glow of complexion, nor any other striking beauty; exceedingly timid and shy, and shrinking from notice; but her air though awkward, was not vulgar, her voice was sweet, and when ...
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... he first possessed.
In the end, the development of every character is complete. Some gain good qualities, while others only seem to cultivate desolation. In the eyes of the reader, character development should be the true brilliancy of Jane Austen's novels. The main focus of each of her books is to portray the difference between outstanding morals, conduct, and character or the lack of. Through her writing, she emphasizes the importance of how a lifetime can be used to increase the accomplishments of the soul instead of the gains of one's pocketbook. Perhaps, this is the lesson to be learned from her writings. All should use their lifetime to increase the intricacy of one's soul blueprint instead of erasing it.
Austen, Jane. The works of Jane Austen.
London: Allan Wingate,1962.
"Character." Webster's II New College Dictionary. 2001.
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