Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814). Fanny Price is the least loved of Austen’s heroines: “prig” is a common complaint of her critics. It’s true that reticent, unsure Fanny Price, sent to live with her cold, wealthy relatives, lacks the Austen spunk. She doesn’t offer witticisms but recoils in horror at her cousins’ display of vices, including amorous behavior, sexual jealousy, and unbridled snobbery. Her passivity can grow wearing. But Fanny enables Austen to craft her darkest work, which asks: What happens when a good soul finds itself trapped in an immoral world?
Total Points: 4 (SM 4)