Posted by Valerie on December 31, 1997 at 23:52:03:
In response to MANSFIELD PARK -- a revisionist view!, written by Stolzi on December 22, 1997 at 22:38:14
] I think it would have brought her out of herself, given her a sense of accomplishment, and she would have grown and changed rather than staying the rather priggish and disapproving bystander. It would have made the moral situation much more interesting by giving Fanny, too, something to be ashamed of when Sir Thomas returns - her exile to Portsmouth could have been partly in the nature of a punishment.
I dunno - I think that acting itself was immoral for a lady, and would have required an entirely different character. If Fanny wasn't so thoroughly delicate and virtuous she might have done a bit more than pine after Edmund. She seems to me to be an observer, rather like a literary camera - like Miss Bates, only serious.
L.M. Alcott's publisher received several protests about the Christmas theatricals in LITTLE WOMEN, and this was much later and in a less formal society. "Professional actress" was pretty much the same as "prostitute". You'll notice that the participation of each of the characters in the play parallels their participation in the moral problem. Fanny's refusal to participate also reflects her caution and the stubbornness that saves her from Crawford. She wasn't a wimp - just shy.
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