The Character of Mary Crawford
7 Pages
1688 Words

It can be useful to examine the values and ideas of a novel through the character

and portrayal of one character. Mary Crawford is a character central to the themes and

events of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. At all significant points in the play, barring only

Fanny's rescue from her parents, she is either present or involved. Through such a

character, a great deal about the morality and ideas so central to this book can be revealed.

However, examination of a character and the way that character is portrayed can become

especially useful when comparing a book to a film based on the same material. Through

the changes, or the similarity, in the portrayal of the character, it becomes again possible

to examine the values behind the production. Patricia Rozema's version of Mansfield

Park, made in 1999, projects modern values onto character 'living' in the early 19th

century. This projection, however, is more appropriate then one might imagine, and is

almost necessary to make the character necessarily despicable.

Mary Crawford is a vitally important part of the story of Mansfield Park. She

provides one of the key complications in the plot and is essential in it's role as a study of

character and morality. She is also key in her role as a contrast to Fanny Price, the more

Before one can fully understand Mary's vital role in the unfolding of events at

Mansfield Park, it is first important to understand exactly who Mary is and where she fits

in to the story. The story revolves around the family that occupies the vast estate of

Mansfield Park. Years earlier, they had taken into their care the daughter of Lady

Bertram's sister, who had married below herself and now had many children and no

money. The girl, Fanny, had grown from the age of ten, in the household of Sir Thomas

and Lady Bertram, and their children Tom, Edmund, Maria and Julia. Some years later,

when Fanny reaches s...

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