Fanny and Jane
Posted by Stolzi on November 08, 1997 at 10:02:42:
In response to My theory on Fanny Price, written by Helen on November 07, 1997 at 10:26:10
] So, I think that in Fanny Price, passive but innately good, Jane Austen creates a heroine who conforms to the type of virtue she doesn't think she herself possesses. And therefore she thinks that this kind of instintive "being in the right" is a good thing, and an ideal which she would like to live up to but finds impossible.
Sounds good to me, particularly if we can associate MP (I don't know the dates) with the increased seriousness, later in her life, that led JA to tell her niece, "we should probably be better if we could all be Evangelicals." (paraphrase) Though earlier she had written, Mary Crawford-like, "I do not like the Evangelicals."
But listen to this! Ken (are you out there!?) I found the Lewis essay, with others, in JANE AUSTEN: A collection of critical essays, ed. Ian Watt, Spectrum 1963.
Now, here's the definitive Fanny, with a backslap for Jane as well. This is Kingsley Amis (NOT Lewis):
"...the character of Fanny lacks self-knowledge, generosity, and humility... it is a monster of complacency and pride who, under a cloak of cringing self-abasement, dominates and gives meaning to the novel. ... [Jane Austen's] judgment and her moral sense were corrupted. Mansfield Park is the witness of that corruption."
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