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Comparison Of Mansfield Park A Essay

1519 words - 6 pages

Comparison of Mansfield Park and Metropolitan Whit Stillman's attempt to capture Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park on film in Metropolitan is a fair adaptation but it is unable to give the viewer the same insights. Stillman manages to have most of Mansfield Parks characters represented in some way or another, however the time needed to develop those characters is simply not there in a two hour movie. It is this development that makes Jane Austen's books so interesting. She spends an enormous amount of time telling us the backgrounds of the characters, especially Fanny Price. We are then able to interpret their actions knowing their motives and history, whereas in the movie we are often confused about certain behaviors. Stillman is able to capture some of the significant events in Mansfield but without the background, they have less meaning.Whit Stillman could not simply parallel his characters one-for-one with the ones in Mansfield Park, rather he had to concentrate on including the significant characteristics of Austen's characters, sometimes in more than one person. If he had tried to copy the nature of the Mansfield Park people the movie would not have been believable. Viewers would not like a perfect character like Fanny, in fact they would probably distrust her more because she was perfect. At the beginning of the movie Audrey Rouget is introduced, obviously meant to be a version of Fanny Price. She is shy, slight, and the appears to be younger than the rest of the group. Like Fanny, she really hasn't "come out" yet. At first, she is enamored with Tom Townsend, then hates him for leaving her looking stupid when he was supposed to be her escort. The viewer has a hard time with this because they have only known each other for a week or so, and that makes Audrey's feelings seem trivial. With the benefit of a whole summer of the story, the reader of Mansfield is able to relate with such strong feelings because they are baked up by several examples, not just one. At the end of the movie Audrey sees that Tom cares for her a lot when he comes to "save" her from Rick Von Slonaker. Audrey is not an exact copy of Fanny though, this is shown when she acquiesces to playing in the groups cigarette/truth-telling game. Austen did not allow Fanny to participate in the play at Mansfield, but Stillman adds this touch to show that Audrey has faults which makes the viewer identify better with her.While Audrey exhibits the nature of Fanny, the movies main character is Tom Townsend and the story centers mostly around him. Similar to Fanny, we see him in almost every scene. However, Tom's character is a combination of Henry Crawford and Edward Price. After he first appears, he is received in much the same manner as Henry Crawford was in Mansfield. He joins up with a close knit group of friends and is accepted immediately. The women in the group all quiz him about college and insist he come to every party. Audrey takes a liking to him, but is afraid to tell him of...

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