More on Jane Austen's heroines... post six

Jane Austen's master touch in creating a female character, putting her in the perfect situation to bring out that which defines her, serves as one of the main ingredients by which the tension of the story builds. Today let’s consider her book …

I might get slapped for this, but I say Mansfield Park is the only story where there is a true rivalry for the affections of the same person, Edward Bertram.

The two women in question are Fanny Price and Mary Crawford. Fanny is Edward’s cousin, and her family is very poor; whereas Edward’s family is very rich and live in Mansfield Park. Fanny is permitted to live with the Bertrams out of kindness.

Mary Crawford is a wealthy, sophisticated lady, the kind of lady that is antagonistic with the object of her affection, having all the charm and looks so as to keep the guy coming back for more.

Fanny, coming from such poverty and being reminded by her cousins that she is not a Bertram but a poor Price, develops the strength of an honorable character. Her sense of gratitude turns out to be far more appealing, because of the genuineness of it, than all of Mary Crawford’s sophistication and practised man-baiting.