Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Everyone is shocked by Sir Thomas’s sudden arrival. Julia, Edmund, Tom, Maria, and Mr. Rushworth go to meet their father, while Fanny stays with the guests. The Crawfords soon leave, but Mr. Yates sticks around.
The Crawfords, who are socially tactful, realize that they should leave. Yates, however, lacks the manners to realize that he should make himself scarce.
Themes
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon
Fanny goes to greet her uncle once the Crawfords leave. Sir Thomas greets her much more affectionately than she expected, catching her off guard. He is very merry, happily telling stories of his travels and greeting Mr. Rushworth with a firm handshake. Lady Bertram is very happy to see her husband despite her sluggishness, while Mrs. Norris is upset that she was not the one to announce his arrival, and plies him with food that he doesn’t want.
Sir Thomas’s trip to Antigua seems to have changed him, as his manner is much more warm and open towards Fanny, and his speech is very kind. Mrs. Norris’s displeasure that she is not the one to have announced the arrival is funny and satisfying, because she has so consistently and self-centeredly imagined being the one to do so.
Themes
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon
Lady Bertram tells Sir Thomas that the young people have been acting, making everyone nervous that he will respond angrily. Tom navigates the explanation successfully and distracts his father with talk of hunting. However, a little later Sir Thomas goes into his room (which has been converted into a green room), where he finds Yates. Sir Thomas is extremely annoyed, and Yates blabbers on about the play gratingly. Sir Thomas tactfully indicates that the acting stunt is over.
Although Tom at first manages to tactfully navigate Lady Bertram’s mention of the play to his father, Yates’s bad manners as he greets Sir Thomas and his inability to evaluate the situation at hand result in Sir Thomas’s anger and bad opinion for the rest of the book. For Sir Thomas, good manners are extremely important.
Themes
Manners vs. Morality Theme Icon