YMMV / Mansfield Park

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Jane is scathing of her own creation, the woefully inadequate Lady Bertram. However, modern readers might wonder at some underlying heart or autoimmune dysfunction undiagnosable at Austen's time of writing, particularly if she was based on a living template. Add a terrible education, the low social expectations of "proper ladies with money", no worthwhile support systems and Mrs Norris sticking her oar in for her own selfish reasons... How much of that flighty, inconsistent demeanour is actually personal, wilful laziness rather than symptomatic of ignored physiological, psychosocial and cognitive issues combining into something horrible for all concerned? Is Lady Bertram just a violent disposition away from Madwoman in the Attic, rather than her primarily self-imposed isolation from other family members due to an inability to cope?
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Serious scholarly version: Many critics are of the opinion that Mary Crawford is similar to Elizabeth Bennet. While both Lizzie and Mary are extroverted, fearless, and independent young women, Lizzie still has moral standards, comprehension and empathy that Mary notably lacks. Lizzie was an affectionate and snarky Spirited Young Lady, whereas Mary is a selfish Spirited Young Lady with no regard for the happiness of the people around her, except for her brother.
  • Fan Preferred Couples: Quite a few Janeites wish the novel had ended with Fanny/Henry Crawford and Edmund/Mary Crawford instead of Fanny/Edmund, despite that Austen always strives to show that true love arises from similarity of character and that bad boys will not change for a good girl.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Mary Crawford blames Fanny for her brother eloping with Maria Rushworth, saying no harm would have been done if she had just married him, and his relationship with Maria "would have all ended in a regular standing flirtation, in yearly meetings at Sotherton and Everingham." A few decades later, it's like Anne Bronte read that alternate ending, wondered, "What If?", and wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to answer the question.
  • Les Yay: Fanny/Mary Crawford — much more subtle than Emma/Harriet but definitely there.
    Edmund: Well, Fanny, and how do you like Miss Crawford now?
    Fanny: Very well — very much. I like to hear her talk. She entertains me; and she is so extremely pretty, that I have great pleasure in looking at her.
    • Oh so much between Frances O'Connor and Embeth Davidtz in the 1999 movie, at least for as long as Fanny isn't a serious contender for anyone's hand in marriage.
  • Macekre: Some people feel that various adaptations of Mansfield Park itself, notably the 1999 movie and the 2007 film, are vile travesties of the book, based on statements by filmmakers in each case saying that they didn't find the character of Fanny very interesting. Other people feel that the adaptations are an improvement, on account of Fanny becoming less of an Extreme Doormat.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Sorry, Jane, but some readers still judge Fanny Price and Mary Crawford by their first impressions.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Mockingly between Jane and Cassandra Austen, according to their niece Louisa Knight.
  • Stoic Woobie: Fanny.
  • Take That!: Mary Crawford's plan to fix the mess at the end is to make Henry Crawford marry Maria after her divorce and to help the couple build some kind of life together — the standard, expected, and accepted solution of the day — despite the fact that Henry knowingly and willingly ruined her (they all know their society punishes the woman more than the man in these cases) and that all sorts of careful manipulation will be necessary to convince him to go through with it. Edmund Bertram is disgusted by the suggestion that his sister marrying such a rake — "the chance of a marriage which, thinking as I now thought of her brother, should rather be prevented than sought" — could be seen as a happy ending.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The first of the early warning signs that Mary Crawford is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing seem less blatant when looked at through modern eyes: She makes an open criticism of her uncle (a philanderer who moved his mistress into the home after his wife's death). Such criticism of her guardian was considered a highly disrespectful action in that time.
    • Also, Edmund is opposed to the play on many grounds - but one of them is the 'indecency' of his sisters being on stage in front of an audience, even a small family audience, something we would not bat an eye at today. Granted, the participants then pick a romantic play and use the rehearsals as an excuse to flirt all over the place, so his objection still ends up justified by modern standards, but his incredibly deep objections when Tom begins the scheme are still puzzling to modern readers.