October 12, 2012

Week 3 Questions

Stoneleigh Abbey

Stoneleigh Abbey- inspiration for some of the Sotherton Court scenes in Mansfield Park

For the seminar on Mansfield Park, please prepare these questions:

The house: What does Mansfield Park stand for - ideals, values, traditions? What (and how) does the novel endorse and/or critique about the house? How do different characters relate to the houses/spaces they inhabit, and what does this tell us?

The head of the house: what is the relationship between the house and its head? How does the head of the house function, and what are we to make of the failures of Heads? How is masculinity portrayed more widely in the novel?

The House and Empire: Edward Said suggests that "having read Mansfield Park as part of the structure of an expanding imperialist venture, one cannot simply restore it to the canon of ‘great literary masterpieces’ – to which it most certainly belongs – and leave it at that. Rather, I think, the novel steadily, if unobtrusively, opens up a broad expanse of domestic imperialist culture without which Britain’s subsequent acquisition of territory would not have been possible.” (Culture and Imperialism, p. 114). How do you read the relationship between England/Mansfield Park and Antigua, and what problems does the novel raise with regards to Imperialism?


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