Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 17

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 17

  • It's a glorious day for Tom and Maria: their overly-moral brother has fallen off his pedestal and has agreed to act with them. Edmund is now no better than they are and he's a big hypocrite, to boot.
  • Edmund still insists he's doing the most moral thing he could do given the situation, but everyone ignores him.
  • Edmund defends Fanny's decision to not act and she's soon the only young person in the house not in the play. She's not even offered a job as stage manager or set designer since Tom has hired some guys to build them a stage and to paint some scenery.
  • It's questionable as to where Tom got the money to do this. Sir Thomas's piggy bank has probably been broken into.
  • Fanny is super jealous of Mary and is pretty miserable to be left out even though she's just as terrified of being included and forced to act.
  • Fanny notices that Julia is suffering, too, but decides that Julia's to blame for a lot of her problems while she herself is blameless. Fanny's rather full of herself here.
  • Mrs. Grant has agreed to do the part that Fanny refused and everyone is glad to have her in the Club since she's so fun and nice.
  • Julia spends her days sulking, making fun of everyone else, and chatting with Mr. Yates.
  • Mrs. Grant chats about the situation with Mary. Mary thinks that everyone involved in the love quadrangle (Julia, Maria, Henry, and Rushworth) are being pretty ridiculous and that everything is probably going to blow up in their faces when Sir Thomas returns.
  • Mrs. Grant says that neither of the Bertram girls really like Henry since Maria is engaged and Julia is now flirting with Yates.
  • Mary is cynical about it all and Mrs. Grant says that they may need to send Henry away if this is going to be a problem.
  • Julia is suffering from a broken heart all this time. She and Maria, once close sisters, have a hugely strained relationship now.
  • Fanny is the only one who notices that Julia is suffering though she does nothing to reach out to her cousin. Both girls suffer in silence.

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