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Funny / Mansfield Park

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  • Tom Bertram's means to escape his mother and his aunt: after having asked Fanny to dance obviously wishing to be refused (and being so), he suddenly grabs her hand and declares he has to stand up with her this instant. She had wanted to dance, but she's not at all flattered by this behavior.
    • He then pontificates on how it's so rude when people use the social contract to get you to do something for their own convenience, by asking questions it's hard to politely say no to. You know, like what he just did to Fanny.
  • Edmund and Mary discuss the respective merits of becoming a minister (living a safe, reassuring life, following one's vocation, helping others) and choosing any other respectable profession (being fashionable, being richer, being able to marry Mary Crawford). They neglect Fanny, who is stuck between them. Then, in the middle of their flirting, she ruins the mood by lapsing into panygiric about the chaplain who took care of her brother, reminding them that she's there.
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  • The extended bickering over what play to put on. Half the group wants a comedy, half wants a tragedy, so they need to find something that fits both halves. (Alas that the Dramedy wasn't yet common...) And, of course, the play needs to have as many "best" characters as members of the group. Fanny, sitting quietly in disapproval of the scheme, is more than a little amused by the impossibility of their requirements.
  • Mr. Yates' acting. Apparently he is as large a ham as they make; every time it's mentioned he's described as ranting loudly and wildly, and in fact he had been specially hoping for the most ranting part of the play.
  • During Sir Thomas' return journey, Mrs. Norris is keenly anticipating being the one to announce his death if the voyage ends in tragedy. When he returns quite whole, her intention of announcing his return is taken from her and she runs around trying to whip everyone up when all he wants to do is relax with his family—as the narrator puts it, "attempting to bustle when there was nothing to bustle about."
  • Subsequently, Sir Thomas discovers the whole play scheme not only by finding his bedroom turned into a green room, but on hearing Yates raving and bellowing in the billiard-room next door.
    • We also get to take a look under the gentleman's composure and see how he really feels about the whole mess, particularly about the hundredth "particular friend" his son brought home.
    • Not to mention that everyone’s reaction to Sir Thomas coming home during a rehearsal is a lot like a Wild Teen Party being broken up when the parents come home early.
  • Mrs Norris' bewilderment at the idea that Fanny is asked to go see Sir Thomas Bertram. Baddeley the servant in this scene is even more hilarious because he knows that Sir Thomas actually sent for Fanny so that Henry Crawford could talk to her in private.
    But Baddeley was stout. “No, ma’am, it is Miss Price; I am certain of its being Miss Price.” And there was a half–smile with the words, which meant, “I do not think you would answer the purpose at all.”
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  • "You always contrive to keep out of these scrapes." Really, Julia?
  • Mary Crawford's kindness to Fanny when she becomes the prey of her narcissist, reputation-ruining and home-wrecking brother. She gives up very quickly.
  • "Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can." She picks the one novel of hers where this is a Blatant Lie to say this!
  • Edmund may not be as snarky as Austen's other heroes, but he has his moments:
    Edmund: You look tired and fagged, Fanny. You have been walking too far.
    Fanny: No, I have not been out at all.
    Edmund: Then you have had fatigues within doors, which are worse. You had better have gone out.
  • When called on to give Fanny fashion advice, Edmund puts in his best effort with a purposeful vagueness that does credit to every well-intentioned straight boy since:
    "Your gown seems very pretty. I like these glossy spots."
    • He then goes on to totally spoil any compliment Fanny might have inferred by adding that Fanny's rival Mary Crawford has a dress just like it.
  • Mary Crawford trying to be poetic about how long and far it feels like they've been walking in the forest, and Edmund arguing her every statement on the manner with exact mathematical calculations involving the dimensions of the forest and consultations to his pocket watch; her emphatically insisting that she's not cut out for discussing details and was using a figure of speech; him bringing the conversation up again long after its due because he's still fixated on obtaining a sum; and both of them finally deciding that obviously the only way to resolve the issue is to walk around the whole forest together — and almost immediately getting sidetracked to a different walk instead once they set out.
  • William is describing his hopes for his future career and his next adventures at sea now that he's a second lieutenant, dreaming that some dangerous action will result in his ascending on rank; he is not very merciful to his first lieutenant in these ambitions.
  • While waiting for Sir Thomas' response to Miss Bertram's engagement to Mr. Rushworth: other attempt [was] made at secrecy, than Mrs. Norris's talking of it everywhere as a matter not to be talked of at present.