Fanny grew up in a large, ever-growing household, where quiet was so hard to come by. In the Price household, Fanny was the opposite of her family. She was timid and shy; they were rambunctious. Fanny as already started to form her own demur. When Fanny arrives at Mansfield Park, there is so much space that Fanny easily finds peaceful places. In Mansfield Park, her cousins provide the fluid movement around her lull. Fanny’s principles become the only conscience in Mansfield Park.
When Fanny is in the background of the conversions between the other characters, she is there to provide the ever-constant conscience. Fanny asserts herself when something going on around her is immoral. One instance of Fanny’s slight assertion is when at Sotherton Mary converses with Edmund about his ordination and how a clergyman is meant to behave. In the whole of this conversation, Fanny only speaks once to say one word: “certainly” (87). When she speaks, Fanny is accepting the fact Edmund’s manners shall be thought of as conduct, “the result of good principles” (87).
After walking the length of the conversation, Fanny tires of walking and must rest. Mary tries to rest a moment but finds she cannot sit because it “fatigues [her]” (90). Mary does have the patience that Fanny possesses to sit and ...
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... silence on this one point that could possible break Fanny’s conscience. Fanny’s conscience feels the hurt and tries to process it. She now needs the silence Sir Thomas allows her to collect herself back into the conscience of Mansfield Park.
From Fanny’s almost acting to her slight break of conscience with Sir Thomas, Fanny struggles to keep her solid core of principles. The conscience of Mansfield Park is a harder than to maintain with all of the people around her creating scenes that test the strength of the conscience. Fanny’s silences help her form and keep her strong ideals. She keeps the moral and social standard of the age. Fanny will continue to be the conscience for those who remain at Mansfield Park; she will be the standard for the people of the Park.
Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. New York: Penguin Group, 1966 (Original work publised 1814).
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