The film changes some central characters, eliminates several others, and reorganizes certain events. The result is a film that retains the core character evolution and series of events of Austen's novel, but in other ways, some critics claim, stresses its themes and ideas differently. The plot changes the moral message of Austen's novel, making the story a critique of slavery rather than a conservative critique of the "modern.
Austen's novel mentions slavery on several occasions but does not elaborate on it.
Most notably, in the novel, Fanny asks a question about the slave trade to Sir Thomas and is not answered. The film includes slavery as a central plot point, including explicit descriptions of the treatment of slaves e.
Fanny finds violent drawings of the treatment of slaves in Tom's room ; numerous reminders of how Bertram family owes its wealth to slavery, as well as England's role in the slave trade. The role and influence of slavery in the world of Mansfield Park is emphasized from the start of the film. Fanny sees a slave ship near the coast on her initial journey to the family, asks her coachman about it and receives an explanation. The Australian historian Keith Windschuttle criticised Rozema for adding in this scene, not in the book, stating Fanny hears terrible cries from a ship off the coast and is told it is a slave ship bringing in its human cargo to Portsmouth.
Windschuttle notes that slaves were never brought to British shores. Then, leaving Britain, they would return to Africa, loaded with manufactured goods. However, Windschuttle's criticism of Rozema is based on a misunderstanding of this brief scene which used simply to introduce the slavery theme. A parallel is drawn between Fanny's role as a woman and a poor relative in the Bertram family, and the role of slaves.
Tom Bertram's return from Antigua is motivated by his disgust with what he has seen there, and this disgust is reinforced by a journal that Fanny finds at Mansfield Park showing apparently criminal events occurring in Antigua that involve Sir Thomas. At the end of the film a voiceover also informs the viewer that Sir Thomas has divested from his estates in Antigua, presumably as a form of redemption.
The character of Fanny Price See also: Fanny Price The character of Fanny is significantly different in the film. In the novel, Fanny is very shy and timid, and not accustomed to giving her own opinion. Her physical condition is frail, making her tire easily. In the film, in contrast, Fanny is extroverted, self-confident, and outspoken, while also being physically healthier. Rozema employs a "a collage or prismatic-like approach" in her adaptation of Fanny's character, incorporating elements of Jane Austen 's character in order to update the "annoying" character for a contemporary audience.
Overt References to Sexuality This adaptation modernizes the chaste, virtuous story by including several references to sexuality.
The first instance, Fanny's discovery of Maria and Mr. Crawford in the act of sexual wrongdoing during a rehearsal of Lover's Vows, is not included in the book, which includes a flirtation that never reaches such a sexual climax.
Grant, and his wife, the Crawfords' half-sister Mrs. Grant, do not feature in the film. Fanny's close relationship with her brother William in the book is mostly replaced in the film by her relationship with her younger sister Susan, with whom in the novel, Fanny does not develop a relationship until her return to Portsmouth. Plot changes Fanny's banishment to Portsmouth is characterized as a punishment by a vengeful Sir Thomas rather than as a respite from stress following Henry Crawford's unwelcome attentions.
In the novel, Fanny is never tempted to accept Mr. Crawford's proposals, whereas in the film, Fanny accepts, then repudiates, Henry Crawford's offer of marriage, and her family has full knowledge of it.
Presumably this is taken from events in the life of Jane Austen, who accepted a proposal of marriage from a man she had known since childhood, and then retracted her acceptance a day later. In the novel, Fanny remains at Portsmouth for several months, whereas in the film she returns to Mansfield Park much earlier in order to nurse Tom Bertram back to health. This makes her witness to the events that follow. In the film, Maria's adulterous liaison with Mr.
Crawford occurs at Mansfield Park instead of in London; in the novel, Maria leaves her husband's London house to run away with Crawford. In the novel, the revelation of Maria's adulterous affair, including Mary's casual attitude about it, occurs through letters including from Mary to Fanny ; in the film the affair is carried on at Mansfield Park in full view of the family.
In the novel, the shock to the Mansfield family is increased by Julia Bertram's elopement with Mr. Yates; in the film Julia remains at home, receiving a love letter from Yates at the end of the film instead of eloping with Mr. Reception Mansfield Park has received generally favorable reviews from critics. The website's critical consensus reads, "Solid performances, bold direction. You may be able to see Mansfield Park 's ending coming from a mile away, but it's so beautifully constructed and dramatically satisfying when it arrives that you probably won't mind at all.
The film changes some central characters, eliminates several others, and reorganizes certain events. The result is a film that retains the core character evolution and series of events of Austen's novel, but in other ways, some critics claim, stresses its themes and ideas differently.
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