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The Character of Mary Crawford It can be useful to examine the values and ideas of a novel through the character and portrayal of one character Mary Crawford is a character central to the themes and events of Jane Austens Mansfield Park At all significant points in the play barring only Fannys rescue from her parents she is either present or involved Through such a character a great deal about the morality and ideas so central to this book can be revealed However examination of a character and the way that character is portrayed can become especially useful when comparing a book to a film based on the same material Through the changes or the similarity in the portrayal of the character it becomes again possible to examine the values behind the production Patricia Rozemas version of Mansfield Park made in 1999 projects modern values onto character living in the early 19th century This projection however is more appropriate then one might imagine and is almost necessary to make the character necessarily despicable Mary Crawford is a vitally important part of the story of Mansfield Park She provides one of the key complications in the plot and is essential in its role as a study of character and morality She is also key in her role as a contrast to Fanny Price the more amiable of the female characters Before one can fully understand Marys vital role in the unfolding of events at Mansfield Park it is first important to understand exactly who Mary is and where she fits in to the story The story revolves around the family that occupies the vast estate of Mansfield Park Years earlier they had taken into their care the daughter of Lady Bertrams sister who had married below herself and now had many children and no money The girl Fanny had grown from the age of ten in the household of Sir Thomas and Lady
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