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Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park

Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park - For any character there are...

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For any character there are three main ways of learning about them. Firstly, how the character themselves thinks and behaves. Secondly, how other characters respond to the character. Lastly, how the author discusses the character is very revealing. Each of these views of Mrs. Norris is provided by the author. Mrs Norris is only related to Mansfield Park through her sister, Lady Bertram. While she may not have managed to make the affluent marriage that her sister did, there is no doubting her love of money. Sir Thomas Bertram provides an income for Mrs Norris' husband, a member of the clergy. This enables them to live in comfort and in close proximity to the house at Mansfield Park. Mrs Norris is possibly the shallowest character in the community of Mansfield Park. She has no qualms about marrying for security, not love. Outward appearance is everything to her, especially how others perceive her. However, this leads her to make decisions for the wrong reasons: "[She] found herself obliged to be attached to the Rev. Mr Norris". When Rev. Mr Norris dies, Austen hints at the perhaps loveless marriage that Mrs Norris was a part of: "[She] consoled herself by considering that she could do very well without him". Carrying on without her husband gives Mrs Norris another very welcome burden to bear. It is Mrs Norris who makes the initial break from her youngest sister, Mrs Price, after she marries against her family's wishes. Yet, once she sees a way of making herself seem charitable and generous, Mrs Norris is keen to establish contact with Mrs Price once more. Her wish to be involved in every aspect of her familyís life conflicts with her
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