Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Sunday, August 17

Jane Austen Character Throwdown

Presenting Anne Elliot, our longest suffering heroine and winner of the first Jane Austen Character Throwdown contest! Elinor Dashwood never stood a chance, gaining 26% of the votes for one shining moment but always hovering close to the bottom. Anne's quiet stoicism in the face of losing the love of her life and being subjected to years of negative comments from her father and sisters won her the honor. Long-suffering Fanny Price took a distant second.

So, are you ready for the next throwdown? In this contest, six fathers will vie for the Worst Father category. Remember the rule: to vote for the candidate who you think most closely fits the description. (Voting for your favorite or least favorite character won't work.) Here are the first two candidates for:
Worst Father

Sir Thomas Bertram of Mansfield Park
Sir Thomas's sins are those of omission and self-delusion. While he loves his children, his ambition to increase his wealth and refine his social connections are in conflict with his family's best interests, leading to a ruinous marriage for Maria. He generously invites Fanny Price to live with his family, yet he allows Mrs. Norris, a cruel woman, control over Fanny. His social ambitions cause him to influence Fanny to consider Henry Crawford's suit, despite her aversion to the man. Sir Thomas realizes his mistakes after Maria runs off with Henry Crawford, but by then the damage has been done. Maria is ruined and Fanny must live with the consequences of years of verbal abuse.

Mr. Woodhouse of Hartfield House
Emma's father seems more like a child than the family patriarch. A fearful hypochondriac (or aging old man), he must be cossetted by his daughter and family at every turn. Mr. Woodhouse suffers from another affliction: a foolish and dim mind. His love for gruel, slow walks, pure air, and a cozy fire away from draughts drive his conversations. And his lack of parenting skills are legendary. After learning of his daughter's engagement to a fine man, his first reaction was to think about her abandonment of his poor, lonely self. free polls
Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Worst Father
Sir Thomas Bertram Mr. Woodhouse


nigel said...

Has to be Sir Thomas but of course he was reflecting his society. Not an excuse for what he did to his slaves because even the Bible has poitned instructions on being kind to poeple. I am glad John Stuart Mill spoke against slavery.

becca said...

On the one hand, I agree, Nigel. On the other hand, to force a child to become parent to the parent is not a healthy situation either.

Shauna said...

I always wondered if Sir Thomas wasn't more than a little incestuous when he looked at Fanny. He has always creeped me out that way. Definitely the worst father.

Laurie Viera Rigler said...

Slave owner trumps hypochondriac narcissist. Sir Thomas wins. It is a credit to Austen's genius that she humanized both Sir Thomas and Mr. Woodhouse.