Uploaded by masone4718 on Nov 28, 2004
19th century England was a time full of incest, out of control breeding, and differences between social classes. Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park was published in the early 19th century and focuses on these problems, as well as others. Characters in Mansfield Park struggle with incest, out of control breeding, and the social class system.
“She was preparing for her ninth lying-in, and after bewailing the circumstance, and imploring their countenance as sponsors to the expected child, she could not conceal how important she felt they might be to the future maintenance of the eight already in being” (Austen 4). This quote talks about the issue of well-managed sexual reproduction vs. out of control breeding in the novel. This quote appears in a letter Mrs. Price writes to her sisters explaining her dilemma. Although her and her family live in poverty, Mrs. Price is about to give birth to a ninth child, even though they cannot afford it. Mrs. Price writes the letter begging her sisters to help see her older children placed in the world due to the out of control breeding.
“He thought of his own four children — of his two sons — of cousins in love . . . ,“ and “Suppose her a pretty girl, and seen by Tom or Edmund for the first time seven years hence and I dare say their would be mischief” (Austen 5,6). These two quotes reflect on the issue of incest within the family vs. the need to marry within one’s own class. The first quote is spoken by Sir Thomas, debating whether or not to let Fanny stay with them, and the second is spoken by Mrs. Norris, which proves that marrying within the family is evident.
“The very idea of her having been suffered to grow up at a distance from us all in poverty and neglect, would be enough to make either of the dear sweet- tempered boys in love with her. But breed her up with them from this time, and suppose her even to have the beauty of an angel, and she will never be more to either than a sister” (Austen 6). This is spoken by Mrs. Norris, and touches on the matter of incest within the family vs. the need to marry within one’s own social class. Mrs. Norris articulates that even if Fanny has...