Wednesday, December 9, 2009

review :: Mansfield Park

Jane Austen

I must admit, this is not my favorite novel of Austen's. It was difficult for me to feel any attachment to the characters, because I found them all--each in their own unique way--rather annoying. Even Fanny Price, the protagonist, was vexing. She was too much of a push-over, too yielding, too timid. Granted, she did stand firm in her decision to turn down a marriage proposal to a man whose morals she found to be wanting. But I found myself more exasperated with her than empathizing with her.

In the last chapter of the book, Austen switches the point of view from omniscient narrator to intrusive author. This chapter summarizes what happens to each character following the circumstances in which they have found themselves. We never read the story of Edmund realizing he could actually love Fanny. We do not hear or see him declare his feelings or request her hand. Austen simply tells us that it has happened. I was a bit put out about this. I wanted to see Edmund and Fanny come together, not hear about it.

I feel terrible to admit it, but I think I liked the movie better.

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