“I cannot act!”: Fanny’s “Inaction” in the Economic Ideology Driving Mansfield Park


  • Morgan O'Neil Southern Illinois University- Carbondale




In early 19th century British culture, an ideology founded on economics permeates one of society’s most private affairs marriage between two individuals. In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, the characters become a type of currency to be exchanged through marriage in order for others to gain power and wealth. Fanny Price, subjected to this objectification, comes to realize the inherent value that she possesses as a woman. Once she is given agency in the novel, she is able to live beyond the ideology of the novel. Her marriage allows her to recognize herself as being equal to her husband, Edmund Bertram, and join him in ownership of their property. Fanny and Edmund represent a new ideology that is founded on love and equality, rather than profit value. 

Author Biography

Morgan O'Neil, Southern Illinois University- Carbondale

Morgan O'Neil is a graduate student at Southern Illinois University pursuing her M. A. in Literature.


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How to Cite

O’Neil, M. (2016). “I cannot act!”: Fanny’s “Inaction” in the Economic Ideology Driving Mansfield Park. Pivot: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies and Thought, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.25071/2369-7326.40253