Em defesa de Fanny Price

 Parque Mansfield

Uma sondagem recente realizada por um utilizador EM Goodreads solicitou AOS participantes que votassem EM ‘do que Menos GOSTA a heroína Jane Austen’.A pesquisa ganhou 1118 votos no total (no momento atual), e o Povo FOI decisivo EM afirmar que a heroína Austen merecia a maior parte de SUA aversão, ou talvez o menor de SEU gosto.O infeliz vencedor, chegando Na 27.3% com 305 DOS votos, não é Mais que a residente de Mansfield, Srta. Fanny Price.Ela FOI seguida por Emma EM 243 votos e, talvez bastante surpreendente para muitos de nós, Elizabeth Bennet EM 201 votos pelo Menos favoráveis.


Talvez pensem que isto é apenas UMA sondagem.Nada que valha a Pena escrever para Mansfield e Nada que a Sra. Price Deva chorar até adormecer.Infelizmente, porém, Parece ser um consenso geral;Fanny Price não é Muito Amada pelos leitores de Jane Austen.Fanny FOI Chamada Tenso, moralmente justo, Chato, SEM intestino e desinteressante.Além disso, Parque Mansfield Foi nomeado Como o Mais Impopular Das Obras de Austen.Já ouvi pessoas compararem o personagem com o de outro personagem de Mansfield, ou seja, Mary Crawford, e afirmarem que, de longe, preferem o último DOS dois.


Felizmente, há aqueles lá fora vindo para Fanny's e Mansfield.A defesa, citando várias razões pelas quais Grande parte Das críticas é injusta, e este é o Coro Ao qual Quero acrescentar a minha voz.Agora, devo admitir que Parque Mansfield Não é o MEU favorito DOS romances de Austen, NEM Nunca foi.No entanto, também não SEI se é a minha Menos favorita.Quando a Li PELA primeira vez Quando era jovem, inevitavelmente comparei-a AOS Livros de Austen que já tinha lido;Orgulho e Preconceito, Emma e Senso e Sensibilidade.Fanny é, SEM dúvida, UMA heroína Muito Menos proativa do que as heroínas desses livros, e a infância infeliz que ELA suportou Fez para UMA leitura de coração pesado.Ela já FOI comparada com as heroínas Mais vivas, Como Elizabeth Bennet e Marianne Dashwood.No entanto, acredito que esperar que Fanny seja igualmente Viva e SEM Reservas não é apenas injusto, MAS é um Mau serviço feito Ao SEU caráter, que negligencia SEU próprio Tipo de individualidade e força interior.


Em primeiro lugar, há a SUA infância.Fanny tinha apenas Dez Anos de idade Quando FOI Levada de SUA família para viver Na Propriedade Mansfield com pessoas que ELA Nunca tinha conhecido antes EM SUA Vida jovem.A partir daí, ELA recebe um tratamento pobre, que VAI desde Frieza e indiferença à condescendência e crítica, por Quase todas as pessoas Na casa, exceto Edmundo.Ela é constantemente lembrada de SUA inferioridade social por SUA deplorável TIA Norris, e ELA é sempre mantida EM comprimento de braços PELA família, Nunca recebendo o Mesmo afeto e atenção que as outras crianças Da casa.Também temos que lembrar que Quando a maioria do romance acontece Fanny ainda é apenas Na adolescência.Embora o Mesmo possa ser DITO de Elizabeth Bennet e Elinor Dashwood, com o in ício Da Vida que Fanny teve, quem Pode imaginar SUA timidez e ansiedade social?


Em segundo lugar, há o amor dela pelo teatro. Muito tem sido feito de Edmundo e Fanny julgando os outros por colocar uma peça na ausência do mestre da casa. Isso muitas vezes foi citado como a razão para as pessoas chamarem Fanny moralizante e quadrada (outras inclusive atribuíram uma aversão de teatro à própria Jane Austen, que não pode estar mais longe da verdade, mas isso é um tema para outro dia.) No entanto, Fanny desfruta claramente da teatria e estava ansiosos para conseguir ver a peça. Suas reais preocupações com as peças parecem dever-se a suas preocupações para com seus dois primos Maria e Júlia, ambos apaixonados por Henry Crawford, e ambos os quais Fanny considera como em perigo de dor de coração e humilhação através da atuação na peça com o flirtasioso e inescrupuloso Henry Crawford.


Isso nos leva ao meu terceiro ponto; a recusa dela em Henry Crawford. Para uma mulher do social-estar de Fanny na era georgiana recusar a estabilidade financeira fora de princípio é, eu argumentaria, inegavelmente admirável. Ela resiste às pressões dos seniores de sua família, até mesmo sir Thomas, de quem ela sempre teve muito medo, e ela permanece firme em sua posição mesmo quando é banida de Mansfield. Suas habilidades de percepção são claras de sua compreensão intuitiva e complexa sobre o caráter de Henry. Isso, acredito, a maioria mostra sua força de caráter e princípio.


Por último, há o seu amor por Edmundo (vamos ignorar o seu quase-relação, como possivelmente a maioria dos georgianos faria.) Ao ler Parque de Mansfield como adulta, me empenhei por empatia por Fanny enquanto ela observa aquele que ela amava se apaixonar por outra mulher. Seu tormento privado enquanto observa os dois, Mary Crawford e Edmundo, aos poucos se apaixonando, é de quebra de coração. O próprio coração flagelado de Fanny ao longo das páginas, até que finalmente chega à sua feliz conclusão depois de muita dor e confusão, e acredito que um final feliz no amor não é menos do que ela merece. De uma criança pobre, passada, assustada com uma jovem que, apesar do seu medo, recusa-se a ser cotada a casar com alguém que ela não ama, meramente por ganho financeiro. Isso, eu acho, faz com que ela seja muito digna de ganhar o amor do herói no final, assim como o amor do leitor.

Consiga o seu próprio Mansfield Park Luxury Hardback.

 Anna-Christina Rod Østergaard é uma estudante universitária de 26 anos, atualmente lendo para um mestrado em Inglês e Filosofia na Universidade de Aalborg, na Dinamarca. Ela reads a cada romance Austen pelo menos uma vez por ano e raramente lê um livro que tem menos de um século. Ela é uma amante da história, da literatura, do folclore, dos contos de fadas e, é claro, de Jane Austen. Se você, assim como Anna-Christina gostaria de dar uma contribuição para o blog Jane Austen, leia nossas instruções sobre como Enviar um Blog.

10 comentários

I cannot relate to Fanny. I have known women who are similar to her, who put up with terrible people and circumstances then never say anything back to their tormentors. I prefer heroines who stand up for themselves and fight back, either 3verbally or physically.

Things pretty much just happen around Fanny in the novel. I find her passive, weak and boring as day-old boiled rice.

Sure she stands by her beliefs, but being lauded for turning down a cad with money shouldn’t be the best thing she ever did in the book. Why didn’t she tell her uncle about Henry’s real character? Her fans claim it’s because she didn’t want to get her two cousins in trouble with their father and that she didn’t want Henry to be affected too.

And what happened after she turned Henry down and she was sent back to her impoverished family? Henry ran away with her skank of a cousin and the other cousin eloped with another man. Scandal galore for the Bertram family.

The problem for me is that Fanny did not take any steps to intervene. She knew she was right about the Crawfords, but she did nothing to warn the others. If she was so afraid of Sir Thomas, why didn’t she tell Edmund about Henry’s behavior toward her cousins? I’m not saying she could have predicted Maria’s fall from grace, but she could have at least given Maria’s brothers or father an idea that Henry was not to be trusted.

The book’s male lead is also not interesting. Edmund is a boring, uptight man who talks about morals but acts like a hypocrite when it comes to Mary. And I never bought his change of affection from Mary to Fanny. He needed a clergyman’s wife who would share the same beliefs as him and be content with whatever income he receives. How convenient that his besotted meek cousin fits the bill.

Letty setembro 05, 2021

I have to make a comment as Mansfield Park is the novel that introduced me to the brilliance of Jane Austen long before Colin Firth emerged in his wet white shirt. I love Fanny for her strength of character and faithfulness to what she believed to be right. Her behaviour is a sign of her gratitude to her Aunt and Uncle Bertram and I admire her that she did not express any resentment toward her Aunt Norris’s insensitive treatment. I love her uncle’s statement to Aunt Norris that her lack of attention to Fanny actually was a good thing as it didn’t help his own daughters. I have to say in all honesty I am not a big fan of Elizabeth Bennet and love Fanny much more. Yes Edmund was beguiled by Mary Crawford but at least he saw that Fanny was by far superior in the end. I can forgive him as he was so kind to Fanny when she first arrived at Mansfield as a child. She only loved him and could never marry anyone else. Bravo Jane for your wonderful insight into human character and for giving us such a variety to enjoy.

Eril Maybury março 19, 2021

Funnily enough, Fanny has always been my favorite followed by Anne Elliot then it’s probably a tie between Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood. I like Emma the least. I found Fanny’s moral fortitude to be endearing.

Christi Mancha março 19, 2021

When this Fanny versus Mary question came up in my reading group, all elderly, mostly women, I paraphrased the question of who would you prefer as a dinner companion, to who would you prefer as a daughter-n-law? That made a difference! No one wanted Mary Crawford; they knew she wouldn’t be faithful.

JULIA março 17, 2021

She was so damn meek and mild she drove me potty

Jeannette março 17, 2021

There’s no question that Fanny, as a person, is virtuous. Nobody can question her virtue, her backbone, her behavior. But Fanny is not a person, she’s a fictional character, and that obligates her to be interesting or entertaining, and I find Fanny as interesting as cold mashed potatoes.

Rather than comparing perfect Fanny with the incomparably quick-witted Lizzie or flawed but entertaining Emma, let’s compare her with an Austen character she’s most like, Elinor Dashwood. Elinor is long-suffering; without her, Elinor’s mother and Marianne would be poor, living beyond their means; in a less deftly-written novel, they’d be practically ready to sell Margaret into servitude to meet their expenses. Elinor’s gentle wisdom goes far in keeping her mother’s emotion-based-behavior, if not Marianne’s, in check. Without Elinor’s kindness, wisdom, and gentle charm, people would be at each other’s throats, emotionally overwrought, and broke.

Elinor deserves her happy ending because she’s done so much good for her family and her friends. (I still think she’d be a better match for Colonel Brandon, but what can you do?) Fanny’s not a bad person, but she’s boring, and her happy ending is ending up with the least desirable, least deserving, most boring of Austen’s so-called heroes, and ending so bland that I’d rather have cold mashed potatoes.

Had there never been a Fanny Price, I suspect some people would look down their noses at Elinor; but we have Fanny, who is a limp dishrag of a character because she’s neither compelling nor interesting, she’s not funny, and she doesn’t seem to see what’s funny in others’ folly. Being morally upright alone, with no other characteristics, is fine for a tertiary character, but a heroine must have verve.

Both Elinor and Fanny are shocked by people’s bad behavior and seek to turn them toward better, but where Elinor is a benignly stalwart grown woman, Fanny is an implacable child, one with good moral underpinnings but little real joy. She might have gotten along with Mary Bennet more than any other Austen character, but at least one can laugh at, if not with, Mary. (That said, if Mary Bennet read any Jane Austen novels, there’s no doubt she’d prefer Fanny (and Anne, and Elinor) to Elizabeth, Emma, and Catherine).

Fanny provides no charm, no amusement, no appeal…and this Austen reader finds this far more grievous a sin than an unchaperoned date or letters to a gentleman to whom one is not engaged. I can forgive Lizzie’s quick and false assumptions, Emma’s lack of self-awareness, Catherine’s childlike inability to discern fantasy from reality, or even (oy, vey) Marianne’s overwrought emotions. But I cannot abide a character who never makes me laugh, or with whom I could never share a laugh. Too much moral virtue, and too little of anything else, is a poor recipe for a protagonist. Pass the hot sauce or take away the mashed potatoes.

Julie Bestry março 17, 2021

I remember navigating a fledgling World Wide Web in the mid-nineties just in time for the opening salvo in what came to be known as the Fanny Wars. Although Fanny isn’t as outwardly engaging as the Elizabeths and Emmas, I think both of those heroines would appreciate Fanny’s character, discretion, and discerning judgement. My dissatisfaction is that Edmund doesn’t deserve her.

LynnS março 16, 2021

The thing about Fanny that is most impressive is her adamant refusal to do things she perceives as “Wrong”. She is very much on the “straight and narrow path” and no one is going to pressure her to do otherwise. This is admirable consistency for a person who is basically shy and timid — it seems that insignificant little Fanny has a backbone of steel — beneath her unassuming exterior there is more strength than one would expect.

Bonnie Monsanto` março 16, 2021

Fanny Price is an observer of the people around her, intuitively knows goodness in them when she sees it and is the only character in the story who recognizes the Crawfords for the delightfully charming but shallow predators that they are. I think Fanny’s innate goodness is probably why people dislike her. Lizzie Bennett IS a tough act to follow. I read somewhere that Jane Austen alternated virtues in her heroines (starting with Elinor and Marianne) and its probably not by chance that Fanny lacks the charm and quick wit of Lizzie Bennett, her predecessor, and is careful before making judgements. Lizzie, on the other hand, was quicker to judge and very sure of her own opinions. Unlike Lizzie, Fanny was not given the line, “before today I never knew myself.” and will not have to regret anything she’s ever done. I love Fanny for her goodness in the face of adversity. It’s easy to be kind and thoughtful when things are going your way, but Fanny remains true to what’s right and just even when the deck is stacked against her. Bravo!

Ginger Cramer março 16, 2021

Fanny the least loved Jane Austen character? Say it isn’t so. For me each character is looked at in her own merits. Fanny was the lesser cousin taken in by the suggestion of self righteous Aunt Norris. She meant it to be sort of a kindness but she wasn’t kind to Fanny herself. She would not put herself out to even think of Fanny in any other way than the way she did, lesser than. But at that time, status and class were the judge of all and Fanny learned her place and role in the family very early. And as the novel progressed and ended, we see that the whole family sees she was right all along and know her true worth. She won the fair Edward and took her place in society. A vicar’s wife was not a lofty place but it was an honorable one. And I love Fanny for uprightness and moral character. These qualities are not in too many women today.

Denisa Dellinger março 16, 2021

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