Mansfield Park sits at the center of what is probably the most significant critical debate about any Austen novel. Here is how the debate is framed by Robert Tidal in an article published just this past spring:
One of the most influential readings of Jane Austen’s 1811 novel Mansfield Park is that of Edward Said, which focuses on the seemingly minor detail that the Bertram family owns property in Antigua at a time when slaves are still being used in the West Indian island’s sugar plantations, and that various members of the family are seemingly complacent about the fact. Said analysis, which is also one of the most memorable literary interpretations in his 1994 work Culture and Imperialism, has been criticized by those who would defend Austen against accusations that she was relatively indifferent to the issue of slavery. However, the issue is ambiguous because the novel is simply not transparent in its attitude toward slavery – not in the outlook of the characters and certainly not in the novel’s position toward slavery as a social institution.
This essay prompt asks you to stake a claim in this debate.What is the place of slavery in the story Austen tells, and what does Mansfield Park tell us about the place of slavery in the story of women and the project of empire building? In what ways is reading Mansfield Park valuable even if, in the end, any critique of slavery is ambiguous?
As part of your essay, include reflections on t Laudatory Equinox, William Beck ford, and Maria Nu gent as well as Green field’s article. In what ways does Mansfield Park echo Rockford and Nuggets accounts? In the face of what we know about slavery from such accounts as Equinoctial, how, in the end, do you feel about Austen’s representation of the world of Mansfield Park?
Provide the thesis of the essay, the essay should contain 6 quotations in total, with two or three being from Greenfield, Beck ford, Nu gent and Equinox(in attachment). The rest of the quotations should come from the novel ,Mansfield Park.
Mansfield Park e-text: https://www.gradesaver.com/mansfield-park/e-text/