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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Principles

In Mansfield Park, narrow views of morality often clash with more open and lax moral codes. All characters deal with questions of how to behave and what is right or wrong, though some stress over i...

Passivity

One of the major divides in Mansfield Park is between action and passivity. Characters are largely defined by their active or their passive natures, and this division extends over into other contra...

Language and Communication

This miscommunication and lack of communication play a bigger role in Mansfield Park than good communication. Whether communicating verbally or non-verbally, characters are frequently misunderstood...

Love

Despite some characters' efforts, love is not logical, predictable, or even controllable. In Mansfield Park, characters constantly fall in love with people they'd rather not love. They fall for peo...

Marriage

Sorry Frank Sinatra, but love and marriage don't go together like a horse and carriage in Mansfield Park. Love is sort of like cheese to marriage's hamburger – great to have, but not absolute...

Family

Ever see The Parent Trap? Mom and dad get a divorce and each takes one twin, so the girls grow up in very different environments and have very different personalities as a result. There aren't twin...

The Home

Home isn't always what others expect or what it's "supposed" to be in Mansfield Park. In fact, homes, especially the idea of what home is, are often unexpected here. Home is not a static, or unchan...

Memory and the Past

Like an elephant, Fanny has a very long memory. Also like an elephant, Fanny moves rather slowly. She is not large, however. There the analogy ends. At any rate, the past is crucial to Fanny and sh...

Gender

The women in Mansfield Park have a pretty rough time. The only choice most of these women have is to say "yes" or "no" when a guy proposes to them. In fact, it is considered their duty to be marrie...
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