“FANNY EMERGES VICTORIOUS SIMPLY BECAUSE THE OTHERS FALTER'; (MARY POOVEY) DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS READING OF FANNY’S ROLE IN ‘MANSFIELD PARK’
Mansfield Park has sometimes been considered as atypical of Jane Austen as being solemn and moralistic. Poor Fanny Price is brought up at Mansfield Park with her uncle and aunt. Where only her cousin Edmund helps her with the difficulties she suffers from the rest of the family, and from her own fearfulness and timidity. When the sophisticated Crawfords (Henry and Mary) visit the Mansfield neighbourhood, the moral sense of each marriageable member of the Mansfield family is tested in various ways, but Fanny emerges unscathed.
We need to look at the way Austen portrays Fanny Price after the wit and vivacity of her earlier heroines, it is often wondered how Austen could have created such a character as Fanny Price.
Fanny is a Christian heroine who is submissive, physically delicate and all too collusive with the privileged world of Mansfield Park. Having Fanny as the heroine displaces the energy and vitality of Mary Crawford. However Fanny is the heroine of this novel and we have to discover if she is only the heroine due to the fact that all the other characters in the novel falter in some way.
When Fanny comes to Mansfield she is an extremely timid young girl who is afraid of everyone and everything, it is her quiet passive manner that conceals this constant terror that leads to her nightly sobbing.
It is Edmund who unlocks her feelings, he knows that she is clever, has a quick apprehension and a love for reading. He also understands her love for reading, her need to feel important and her capacity to be so. Fanny herself has to learn to have faith in her own good sense and develop the strength to be able to transmit it to others.
From one point of view, Fanny price is an interesting psychological study in the manners and attitudes of her insecure and traumatised personality.
Here is a look at a psychologist reading of Fanny Price:
 She presents a clam, pleasant face to the world
 She is seen as reticent and even shy
 She demonstrates cool reserve towards others, but inside she is anything but distant
 Cares deeply about a few special persons or causes
 Has a profound sense of honour derived from internal values
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...and when the uncles wife died he moved his mistress in with him. It becomes obvious that the uncle and aunt failed to install any morals into the two they were responsible for.
Maria and Julia had an education which was entirely deficient in the less common acquirements of self knowledge, generosity and humility.
The parents of Maria and Julia do not have much to do with their upbringing. Sir Thomas spends long spells away from the house on business trip to Antigua. Lady Bertram in he indolence abdicates the role of mistress of the house and of mother allowing Mrs Norris to have far too large a hand in the upbringing of the two girls.
I agree that Fanny emerges victorious because of the fact that the others falter but not ‘simply’ because the others falter. Fanny grows as a person throughout the novel she stands up for the things that she believes in, which is an admirable quality in anyone.
Fanny aspires to be someone we could never have believed she could be at the beginning of the novel.
Fanny emerges victorious partly because the others falter but also because she is such a strong person and is not easily swayed to do something that she does not believe in.
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