I find it interesting that ‘many people’ as the author of the article implies dislike or find Mansfield Park to be their least favourite book. For me, Emma is my least favourite of the books and I find Emma’s character overpowering and her snobbish behaviour puts me off, I realise this is the way is meant to be seen and we are supposed to see her change as the story progresses but I’ve never loved her the way I do Lizzie, Elinor, Catherine or Fanny.
I like Edmund and Fanny, firstly she is just as much an introvert as Anne, she was taken away from her family at a young age, constantly put down by her Aunt and cousins, treated as a servant and generally taken for granted. Only Edmund treats her as family, teaches and cares for her. Through reading the book although you see that Edmund is attracted by the Miss Crawford’s he constantly confesses his concern over the Crawford’s attitude towards wealth, position and social class. I believe in Mansfield Park, Austen presents the varied classes and how different people’s morals influence their decisions. Fanny may not openly criticise characters but she is quite capable and is scathing of the Crawfords and their flirtatious behaviour. She is caring and sweet towards her brother who comes to visit her at Mansfield, is appreciative and grateful of anyone who shows her kindness.
She sees Edmund falling in love with another woman and is heartbroken yet not bitter nor does she push him away when he shares his feelings with her. She feels, having been put down all her life at Mansfield, that she does not deserve to be loved by someone like Edmund, a position many people can sympathise with.
As to Edmund being a douche, I find my opinion completely opposite here and everyone is entitled to differing opinions of course, thats the point of novels, that everyone can view characters and stories in different lights and interpret them as they choose. Edmund does find himself attracted to Miss Crawford’s and is encouraged by her flirtatious behaviour towards him. He finds fault in her but believes that she cannot be serious and it is just her way to not take thing as seriously as he would. Throughout the novel however he seems to be the only one in his family to express concern over Fanny’s treatment and censures anyone who would brush off concerns over Fanny’s health and wellbeing.
When he sees that she looks ill he immediately enquires and discovers that his mother and Aunt have sent her out all day running errands for them, he is outraged on her behalf questioning how they could allow Fanny to walk in hot weather from one end of the park to the other several times during the day, doing things which a servant or someone else could have easily done. Seeing that she needs exercise to improve her health and having to argue over the costs of buying a separate horse for her, he sells his own horse and buys one which she could more easily ride daily, for her own personal use and which no one can say anything as it is his own money he will be spending and his own horse he will be selling. Without expecting anything and simply because she has a need of it, he buys her a necklace to wear the cross which her brother had given her as a gift. Are these really the behaviour of a ‘douche’? I don’t think so, if anyone did such things for me, consoled me while I was upset and away from family, helped me with my lessons when my other cousins told me I was stupid and paid particular attention to what I learnt and my opinions of the world beyond Mansfield, I don’t think I would find him a douche, no I would view him the same way Fanny does, with affection and love equal if not more than my closest family member.
Further, Edmund may have acted foolishly in his relationship with Miss Crawford’s and so infatuated with her that he doesn’t spend as much time with Fanny, he is however also horrified when at the end of the book Miss Crawford suggests that he allow her brother, Mr Crawford to continue an affair with his married sister, suggest that his brother’s death could be beneficial because it would mean she could marry him since he would then be the heir to Mansfield Park and hears her scold Fanny for not marrying Mr Crawford even though Fanny has told everyone who would listen that she does not love Mr Crawford and would not want to marry someone who flirts as openly as he does, an opinion which by the end of the book proves justified. Edmund returns home, confesses his folly to Fanny and as time passes, begins to realise everything abhorrent in the Crawford’s behaviour and recognise that in contrast Fanny is exactly the kind of woman he desires in a wife.
From his mistakes he learns to appreciate Fanny and love her more than he would a wife who would only marry a clergyman if he were rich. With Fanny he can be see an equal and a partner, they share the same opinions and an affection from when they were children.
I’m sure there are others who could express their love and appreciation of Mansfield Park better than I but I feel that this was necessary. As an Austen fan, I try to appreciate all her novels, even Emma ~ who is still my least favourite, but is a favourite nonetheless, because she is an Austen creation.
As to the article suggesting that Fanny would not post diary/vlog entries to the internet, there is strong support of this opinion, however as many introverts would agree, introverted people have strong opinons, are capable of expressing them and are passionate on subjects that they love, Fanny likewise could very easily have a diary-style vlog but she would face a similar problem that a character such as Elinor would face as it would seem strange for a character like her to express opinions so openly.
This moment is honestly my favorite from the whole book and movie. This is the first step he made to show how he really feels about her. He, Darcy, such a closed and introverted person who never talked first to people, who didnt like long chats, who find it so hard to express his feelings and himself to others, did the first step. The moment he stretches his fingers is just decisive for the whole scene, it shows how unbelievable was for him to realize that he touched her. Like this, the physical impact is as powerful as the spiritual one.
‘All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life… to be candid without ostentation or design—to take the good of everybody’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad—belongs to you alone.’