The next installment of DH's Jane Austen diary:
I have left Mansfield Park. This was a long haul for me. But really I finished Persuasion in between and watched Northanger Abbey, so all was not wasted.
The theme again was love at first site for our heroine or main femme fatale. Also, there are the conflict between love and money and the abuse of the body and mind (drinking). We did see some conflicts between the father and the children.
The love Fannie had for Edmund was eternal and I think that’s what Austen uses for her conflict more than once in her books. Also the times show the shallowness of some of the characters. Position, money, and status are what life is all about.
As usual there is a lost soul or the character sent away for her betterment and to add flavor to the story. Again there are multiple daughters of marrying age and limited worthy husbands available. And of course, a familiar picture of brotherly conflict between Thomas and Edmund. Finally you have the Crawfords. From the beginning I felt they were con-artists.
In this story there is a stronger father figure but he is away on business which again causes issues and he is of the old school. The eldest son eventually does himself in, too much of a good thing.
I really don’t understand the mother’s deal; she seems always to be falling asleep and sometimes I think she is sickly. Also her constant companion Mrs. Norris and in the middle I felt Fanny was the person to fill that role in the future.
Then of course you have the sisters’ love life, falling in love with Crawford while engaged to someone else. It was apparent that eventually it would cause breakup and disgrace to the family.
In closing the themes of the first three books I read are the same, Love & Money. But as with all great stories these things lead to conflict and keep the reader going. Even in the deadliest spy novel or space alien book there is always some reason to keep the reader interested to the end. I think if Austen was alive today her writings would again reflect the themes she has masterfully created so long ago.