Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 15

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 15

  • Mary accepts her part in the play and Mr. Rushworth shows up for a part, too.
  • Mr. Rushworth gets distracted with his part and his costume and so doesn't notice what's going on between Maria and Henry right in front of him.
  • Edmund pops in and learns what the play will be. He's really upset.
  • Edmund pulls Maria aside and lectures her accordingly.
  • Maria insists that the play isn't that bad, that they're cutting out the worst parts, and that Mary thinks it's cool to do regardless.
  • Edmund counters that if everyone else is jumping off a cliff it doesn't mean she should too. Edmund would make a great dad in the universe of Happy Days.
  • Lady Bertram chimes in and tells Maria to not do anything improper.
  • Edmund insists their dad won't like it and Lady Bertram seems a little concerned.
  • But Maria says that Julia will do the part if she refuses it and to just drop it already.
  • Mrs. Norris now chimes in and says that the play is an awesome idea and not a problem at all. She then brags about how helpful she's been.
  • Edmund finally gives up.
  • The Crawfords show up and the Mansfield Park Theater Club starts planning.
  • Mary notices that they haven't cast her love interest in the play yet and it turns out they don't have an available guy for the role.
  • Yates suggest they ask Edmund but Tom refuses.
  • Mary asks Edmund for his advice and he says to just change the play.
  • She then tries to convince Edmund to act since the open part is a clergyman but Edmund bluntly refuses.
  • Suddenly Tom yells out for Fanny and says that they need her to play the part of an old woman.
  • Fanny's horrified and refuses, saying she cannot act. This has some interesting double meanings.
  • Tom argues with her and Maria, Yates, and Henry join in. Mrs. Norris then jumps in and tells Fanny to quit being difficult and just do the stupid part already. She tells Fanny that she's stubborn and ungrateful and implies that Fanny is somehow "lesser" than her cousins.
  • Edmund is really angry at Mrs. Norris – too angry to speak, really.
  • Mary's horrified by how mean Mrs. Norris is to Fanny and notes that Fanny is about to cry. Mary quickly goes over to consoles her and Fanny is grateful.
  • Mary gets Fanny to tell her about William and Fanny starts to cheer up a little.
  • The Mansfield Park Theater Club meanwhile decides that they'll just have to invite a neighbor over to play the role Edmund refused.
  • Mary says a random neighbor is fine but she'd prefer a guy named Charles Maddox since she met him once before.
  • Julia sarcastically observes that soon the whole neighborhood will be involved in the Theater Club.
  • Mary confesses to Fanny that she's not really looking forward to the play now.

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