He had suffered, and he had learned to think

Category: Education | Type: Discussion | Title: Mansfield Park (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter XLVIII

Suffering and remorse are the last prospect for improvement for those who have lacked a favorable environment and a proper education. 

Fanny's particular form of goodness is itself a product of harshly negative forces resulting in a protracted trauma. Her goodness is not innate but is owing largely to the self-denial, humility, and demand for usefulness forced upon her by her first seven years

at Mansfield Park. Had she or Susan remained in Portsmouth, we must assume that they would have been morally quite different from what one is and the other is beginning to be. In fact, Susan, something of a fighter, has the spirit that may endow her moral goodness with the self-possession and feistiness Fanny has lacked, making Susan a heroine closer in temperament to Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse.

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