by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park Gender Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Fanny sighed, and said, "I cannot see things as you do; but I ought to believe you to be right rather than myself, and I am very much obliged to you for trying to reconcile me to what must be" (3.34).
Fanny is extremely submissive in general, but she is especially submissive to Edmund and Edmund's opinions. Though much of this is a matter of age and self-confidence, Fanny's submissive attitude also has something to do with her gender. Women, in general, had much less power than men during this period, and Fanny got a double-dose of powerlessness by being raised as "inferior" to her cousins.
"Manners as well as appearance are, generally speaking, so totally different. Till now, I could not have supposed it possible to be mistaken as to a girl's being out or not. [...]. Girls should be quiet and modest. The most objectionable part is, that the alteration of manners on being introduced into company is frequently too sudden" (5.32).
Being "out" refers to being out in society, meaning that the girl is old enough to get married and is out looking for a husband. Here, Henry and Mary are discussing the problems of looser social codes, where girls who shouldn't be out on the marriage market are acting as if they are.
Henry Crawford had trifled with her feelings: but she had very long allowed and even sought his attentions, with a jealousy of her sister so reasonable as ought to have been their cure; and now that the conviction of his preference for Maria had been forced on her, she submitted to it without any alarm for Maria's situation, or any endeavour at rational tranquility for herself (7.8).
Henry is able to run around and flirt with girls without any consequences to himself. However, the women he flirts with run the risk of having their reputations ruined, as Maria discovers.