Reactions to MP
Posted by Linden on May 14, 1998 at 18:59:34:
In response to A Question about Fanny Price, written by Golda on May 14, 1998 at 16:32:22
] Why have I picked up only negative vibes about MP, and Fanny in particular, in scattered postings throughout the RoP?
Not many Austen addicts read MP first - we're usually introduced via P&P or Emma. So when we come to MP, we're set up to look for the bright, lively heroine - only to discover that the person we think is in this role, Mary Crawford, turns out to be the villain.
Another thing: we may be ready enough to identify with Lizzy Bennet and Emma, and also with Elinor, Anne and Catherine as the "point of view" character. But identify with Fanny Price? No way!
However, if we forgot the identification need, and look on Fanny more as we look on Oliver Twist, as an innocent with whom we sympathise but not empathise, (ie feel for, not feel with), we wouldn't get so worked up about her.
Add to all this is the way that it's hard to get a handle on the values that MP is pushing (Are we supposed to accept Sir Thomas's standards? Is Mary such a bitch? Do we accept Fanny's shame at her own family's behaviour?).
MP is the most complex of JA's novels, IMHO. It's ironic that she called Emma the heroine that nobody else would much like, when it turns out these days to be Fanny.
who agrees that the heroine is a wuss, and the hero lacks oomph.
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