October 6, 2010
I have a question for the Jane Austen readers among you: is the pacing way off on Mansfield Park, or did I miss something? It’s like endless commentary on everyone’s moral fiber, to an extent that’s almost preachy and not really reminiscent of other Austen, then, in the second to last chapter, OMG THE BIGGEST MOST HORRIBLE SCANDAL IN A JANE AUSTEN BOOK EVER SERIOUSLY, but at least it means everybody gets what they deserve, the end. I can’t say I ever once rooted for the heroine (though I certainly felt sorry for her and wished everyone would leave her alone), because it was just too clearly laid out that she was the only sensible one and of course she would get what she wanted.
One of the things I love about my favorite Austen book, Persuasion, is that the climactic moment is drawn out (Anne sees him writing the letter, the letter is delivered, she reads it slowly. . .), the suspense heightens, and you finally realize that yes, things really are going to work out between Anne and Frederick even though it seemed impossible.
Mansfield Park, on the other hand, felt like a lecture with an ending tacked on. My least favorite Austen. Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?
Now, I just have Emma to go and I’ll have read them all. . .