Study Guide

Mansfield Park Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

  • Fanny Price, age ten, meets Mrs. Norris in Northampton and proceeds with her to Mansfield Park. Fanny is very small and very shy.
  • Her aunt and uncle greet Fanny kindly and her cousins are friendly enough. The entire family is good looking, like a bunch of J. Crew models, and Fanny looks a bit dumpy by comparison.
  • We find out that Tom and Edmund Bertram are seventeen and sixteen years old respectively, and that Maria and Julia are thirteen and twelve years old. So Fanny is the baby of the group.
  • Fun fact: "Maria" is actually pronounced like Mariah Carey not like Maria from West Side Story. They just spelled it differently during this time period. That rule of thumb only applies in England, though. If you read about a Maria running around in Spain or Austria in the early 1800s, then it's pronounced like you think it would be. It's weird, but there you go.
  • Fanny is upset and scared to be away from her home and ,after spending most of the evening crying, the Bertrams send her off to bed to cry some more.
  • The adults are a bit dismayed but they decide that she's a bit homesick and will get over it soon. Mrs. Norris can't figure out why Fanny was so bummed since she lectured her niece about not being a Debbie Downer before they arrived at Mansfield.
  • Fanny doesn't get over her homesickness quickly, though, and no one at Mansfield seems to understand what she's feeling.
  • Fanny is not nearly as well-educated as her cousins, which is awkward for her. Everyone at Mansfield scares her and the house itself is huge and frightening.
  • Finally Edmund notices that Fanny is depressed and sits down to chat with her.
  • He eventually gets her to open up a bit, and she explains that she misses her family, especially her brother William.
  • She tells him that she wants to write a letter to William, so Edmund sets her up with some pen and paper and tells her that he'll mail it for her.
  • Edmund then gives Fanny some tips for dealing with her female cousins and Fanny starts to grow more comfortable at Mansfield.
  • Julia and Maria later gossip to Mrs. Norris about Fanny and laugh about how dumb she is.
  • Mrs. Norris tells the girls to be nice since not everyone can be as awesome as they are and it's not Fanny's fault that she's a loser. (Mrs. Norris isn't very nice or tactful.)
  • Fanny grows up and is not particularly talented or brilliant but does all right with her lessons. She's a bit out of place within the family, though no one is really out-right mean to her usually.
  • The Bertrams give up their townhouse in London since Lady Bertram is kind of lazy, so the Bertram kids spend all their time in the country.
  • Sir Thomas is overall pleased with how his kids are growing up.
  • Fanny is totally separated from her birth family and sees no one but William for years.
  • William joins the navy and Edmund goes off to school at Oxford.
  • Edmund is Fanny's champion, gives her books to read, and is her friend.
  • Fanny loves no one better than Edmund except for William.

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