Mansfield Park And Mary Crawfo Essay, Research Paper

The Character of Mary Crawford

It can be utile to analyze the values and thoughts of a novel through the character

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and portraiture of one character. Mary Crawford is a character cardinal to the subjects and

events of Jane Austen s Mansfield Park. At all important points in the drama, excluding merely

Fanny s deliverance from her parents, she is either present or involved. Through such a

character, a great trade about the morality and thoughts so cardinal to this book can be revealed.

However, scrutiny of a character and the manner that character is portrayed can go

particularly utile when comparing a book to a movie based on the same stuff. Through

the alterations, or the similarity, in the portraiture of the character, it becomes once more possible

to analyze the values behind the production. Patricia Rozema s version of Mansfield

Park, made in 1999, undertakings modern values onto character life in the early 19th

century. This projection, nevertheless, is more appropriate so one might conceive of, and is

about necessary to do the character needfully ugly.

Mary Crawford is a vitally of import portion of the narrative of Mansfield Park. She

provides one of the cardinal complications in the secret plan and is indispensable in it s function as a survey of

character and morality. She is besides cardinal in her function as a contrast to Fanny Price, the more

amiable of the female characters.

Before one can to the full understand Mary s critical function in the flowering of events at

Mansfield Park, it is first of import to understand precisely who Mary is and where she fits

in to the narrative. The narrative revolves around the household that occupies the huge estate of

Mansfield Park. Old ages earlier, they had taken into their attention the girl of Lady

Bertram s sister, who had married below herself and now had many kids and no

money. The miss, Fanny, had grown from the age of 10, in the family of Sir Thomas

and Lady Bertram, and their kids Tom, Edmund, Maria and Julia. Some old ages subsequently,

when Fanny reaches 17, the place at the vicarage of Mansfield Park is taken by

a Mr. and Mrs Grant. Mrs Grant, it seems, has two half-siblings by her female parent s second

matrimony, a Mr. Henry Crawford and Mary Crawford. The Crawfords come to populate with

their half sister, who introduces them to the Mansfield household. They become portion of the

Bertram s closest circle of friends. Edmund Bertram, with whom Fanny has forged a

particular friendly relationship and has likely fallen in love, rapidly finds himself attracted to the appeal

and beauty of Miss Crawford. Julia and Maria Bertram, who has recently become engaged to

a rich sap nearby, both find themselves captivated by Henry Crawford. Maria moves

frontward her matrimony after gaining that she has no hope of Henry reciprocating the


Henry, nevertheless, feels strongly toward Fanny and finally proposes. She refuses

him on the footing that she senses certain character defects. Upon her refusal, Fanny is sent

off from Mansfield to populate, one time more, with her household in Portsmouth. When she once more

garbages Henry, he removes himself to London, where he once more meets up with Maria, now

Mrs. Rushworth, with whom he begins an matter. The whole dirt is discovered, and

Edmund goes to see Mary, who claims that it is non the action that is to be reproached, but

instead the find ; and she mostly blames Fanny for non holding to get married Henry,

claiming that he would non hold acted in such a mode would he cognize to be put on the lining the

fondness of Fanny. Edmund so relinquishes his fond regard to Mary, and returns to

Mansfield Park to later marry Fanny.

Mary is of importance for several grounds. One of the more simple and obvious

grounds for her inclusion was as a love involvement for Edmund. A major subject in the narrative is

the battle Fanny faces in the love she feels for Edmund, who does non reciprocate her

feelings. In order to do this battle seem ague, Edmund must love another. Therefore

Mary is introduced.

Mary is immensely different to Fanny. She is vocal where Fanny is quiet. She is

sophisticated where Fanny is about naif. For Edmund to appreciate Fanny s positive

qualities it becomes of import for him foremost to value features opposite to hers. When

Edmund eventually discovers the true immorality in Mary s character, he had barely done

repenting Mary Crawfords and detecting to Fanny how impossible it was that he should

of all time run into with such another sort of adult female, before it began to strike him that a really

different kind of adult female might make every bit good. 1 Therefore it seems that Mary s character is

fixed as she must be the entire antonym to Fanny.

But Mary Crawford serves a much greater intent in the novel so simply as

Fanny s competition for the fondness of Edmund- her character besides offers a contact

remark on morality. She is used in the novel to exemplify those of a certain moral codification

and is utilised in the movie to a similar intent, though in a different mode. As in both

versions of Mansfield Park Mary is used as a character used to exemplify and measure

morality, it is possible to utilize this to analyze the implicit in morality of the book and movie.

Possibly the individual incident that illustrates Mary as a character that illustrates a

certain school of morality is her reaction to the find O

f Henry and Maria s matter. In

Austen s original, the reader merely hears of the incident when Edmund is relaying it to

Fanny. He tells of his visit to Mary upon his find of the misconduct of their dealingss.

Mary, Edmund tells, is more disturbed by the find of Maria and Henry s

error, instead so the actions themselves. She speaks merely of their foolishness in leting

such an event to be known, and non of the certain immoralities of their behavior. It is to this

Edmund reacts. She reprobated her brother s folly in being drawn in by a adult female whom

he had ne’er cared for & # 8230 ; .Guess what I must hold felt. To hear a adult female whom- no harsher

name than folly given! – So voluntarily, so freely, so nervelessly to poll it! 2

In Rozema s version of this exchange, the Bertram household and Fanny are present.

This major change changes the content of what is said dramatically. While in the novel,

Mary condones the foolishness of their dealingss to Edmund entirely, the movie allows Mary to do

her address to the whole Bertram household. She condones non their dealingss, to her their

behavior seems both justified and natural, but the household in their reaction to it. She blames

Fanny for declining her brother, claiming this mostly caused Henry s action. She blames Sir

Thomas, for his overreaction to the state of affairs. But what is most awful is Mary s

unruliness to welcome the decease of Tom Bertram in order for Edmund to inherit the estate.

It is to this that Edmund reacts, non the deficiency of morality in Mary s character shown

through her credence of Maria and Henry s behavior. Film critic Roger Ebert has

wrongly assessed Mary Crawford & # 8217 ; s chilling analysis of the exigency, and her program for

what must be, to modern ears, it sounds crass and heartless. In 1806, merely such

conversations would hold sounded sensible, to people schooled to believe of the household

lucks above any consideration of love or morality. 3 Mary Crawford s address has been

mostly fabricated for the movie and was ne’er spoken to the ears of 1806. The really point of

the address was to do Mary sound cold and crass to a modern audience because the

really beginning of her character defect in the novel is non sufficient for a modern audience- 1

rather willing by and large to accept adultery as a norm as Mary Crawford did. It becomes

necessary so, in order to repair her as an adversary, that the manager makes gives Mary

defects that a modern audience can recognise- these being haughtiness, philistinism and a deficiency

of grasp for human life.

Mary Crawford is of great importance to Mansfield Park because she provides the

necessary agencies by which Edmund can fall in love with Fanny. But both the novel and the

drama are far more complex that a fairy narrative love narrative. They meditate on the pick of the

single to do certain determinations associating to their morality and the outworking of such

determinations. In order to accommodate the immensely different audiences that Rozema and Austen face,

those of 1999 and 1814 severally, it becomes necessary to set the inside informations of their

moral codification consequently. In the foreword to a recent edition of Mansfield Park, it is noted

that Mansfield Park is singular for the three strands of morality running through it. Sir

Thomas represents the enduring, classical values of the eighteenth Century, Fanny the

beginnings of nineteenth-century societal scruples and morality which are in blunt contrast

to the moral ambiguities of Mary Crawford. 4 The moral ambiguities of Mary Crawford

in the novel are non a negative trait to a modern audience as they are common to the

experience of most people. So to counterbalance, and to keep Mary s place as an

adversary, she must be significantly worsened. It is to the same extent that, to provide for a

modern audience, Fanny must be significantly livened to increase her entreaty.

One of the interesting facets of Mary as a character is the fact Austen chose to

give her certain qualities that are admirable to the audience of her twenty-four hours. For case, her

audacious attack to speech is an admirable quality. She besides is a really friendly individual, who

does non waver to demo fondness to Fanny, who is so unquestionably below herself. These

character traits are exhibited in the 1999 movie Mansfield Park, every bit good as added excessively.

Mary s homosexual inclinations are suggested by the movie, an facet of her character that

would appeal to an audience that mostly embraces homosexualism. Two really provocative

scenes, including one where Mary undresses a really wet Fanny while noticing on her

singular beauty, surely illustrate that Mary has a certain attractive force to Fanny. This is

one important moral accommodation that reflects on the instead important alterations in popular

morality that has come of late.

Mary Crawford herself is non an built-in portion in Mansfield Park. It is instead what

she represents that is important. For this ground, it is of import to alter her moral codification

in order to arouse the same feelings in a modern audience that were felt by the original.

It can so be supposed that Mary Crawford is non merely a literary character responsible for

the prolonging of Fanny s torment, but represents one of small morality in both civilizations.

Through Mary, so, it is possible to analyze why and how literary characters must be

changed to accommodate the moral context to which they are aimed.


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