Members Meeting - March 19 2016
Mansfield Park - Novel Study
Kathleen first provided a detailed synopsis of Mansfield Park, starting with a summary of the three Ward sisters who became Mrs. Norris, Lady Bertram and Mrs. Price. Next, she described the main settings of the novel and their symbolism in the novel. Her summary of the plot included helpful insights into the characters and the backgrounds of each.
Randie and Jane presented character studies. Randie provided us with a character study of the Ward sisters, all failing, each in their own way, to be a good mother to Fanny. Jane provided a humorous discussion entitled "Nothing But Buffoonery" about all of the young people surrounding Fanny Price.
Kathleen returned to present on Fanny as a heroine and the debate about the likeability of Fanny Price. She discussed the proposition that Fanny is the epitome of Fordyce’s ideal woman: intellectually accomplished, domestic and elegant, modest, pious, meek, delicate, reserved, and active in pursuit of good works. Also she urged us not to be too harsh in our judgment of Fanny as she is only a teenager!
Finally, Judith treated us to a discussion of Antigua and slavery at the sugar plantations. She discussed the absentee owners of plantations such as Sir Thomas Bertram. The name "Mansfield Park" has interesting implications because Lord Mansfield was the Chief Justice in Britain prior to the abolition of the slave trade, and he made some landmark decisions against slavery. Throughout her presentation, we were all treated to illustrative photos that Judith took in Antigua.