Not MANSFIELD PARK
Posted by Stolzi on December 27, 1997 at 03:34:28:
In response to YOU FORGOT one..., written by KAREN L on December 23, 1997 at 21:29:59
] ] They are death (Emma, Persuasion), absent (Northanger Abbey; Mansfield Park) or have little influence on their daughters' life. On the other hand, there are always a female character that fills in the role of mother/confidante: Mrs. Gardiner, Emma's former governess; Lady I-don't-remember-her-name in Persuassion; the Aunt in Mansfield Park, etc. What do you think?
A little bit of a correction here -- Fanny has two Aunts in Mansfield Park, her mother's two sisters. Neither one is a mother-figure or a confidante. Lady Bertram, though she agrees to raise the little girl and is kind to her, is very distant and lazy, taking no real interest; Aunt Norris is a cold and greedy woman who simply scolds Fanny and takes advantage of her. (an image of the Bad Mother, perhaps!) Neither is a woman to whom a growing girl would offer confidences.
Fanny gets all of her moral bearings from (a) herself and (b) her kind, serious and older cousin, Edmund. The lack of moral bearings in the two other daughters raised at the Park, Edmund's sisters, is one of the main driving points of the plot and is due to failings of both their mother and their father.
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