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  • Writer's pictureIzzy Meakin

My ever evolving thoughts on Jane Austen's - Fanny Price.

I’ve been reflecting on something that Caily said to me during a podcast recording: ‘Would you say she (Fanny Price) is the heroine who intrigues you the most?’


In a weird way I think the answer is yes.

Out of all Austen’s heroines I spend the most time thinking about Fanny, and why Austen created her. She finds her happy ending in a very unhappy course of events.


I think it’s so easy to enjoy the character of Mary Crawford, and in many ways see her as the leading lady of Mansfield park. She just fits the tone so much better right? Ambitious, flirtatious, almost scandalous - is this not the very essence of Mansfield.


In contrast we see Fanny as the angelic character who upholds the virtues… but how would she be untouched by this toxic world? The only world she knows, for the most part (think about Emma Woodhouse for a moment, a true product of her environment).


Over my re-reads I have started to see a different element to Fanny something more calculated, more dark and jealous and something much more interesting than I ever gave her credit for. A bizarre battle between her environment and her morals, saved only that she is always on the outside and so can’t fully indulge in the dark side.


Finding her happy ending In the wake of destruction. If anyone is the advocate for the long game is Fanny Price. She adores the Bertram family and the house when both are extremely toxic… What if Fanny really does fit in at Mansfield?


Here I go again with my continuous random Fanny ramblings.


Isn’t it fascinating it’s often not the heroine you relate to, or the one you admire, or the one you want to be friends with that will be the one to intrigue you the most.


Izzy


Ps. Come back in 6 months time when I completely change my thoughts on all this again ahah. The beauty of being a curious Lit grad and having a platform to discuss all this with other Janeites.

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