Good Versus Evil in Austen’s Mansfield Park and Iris Murdoch’s A Fairly Honourable Defeat


The character of Tallis Browne in Iris Murdoch's novel 'A Fairly Honourable Defeat' is characterised by her as a figure of good, taking the place of Christ in a post-Christian allegory. This article compares Murdoch's exploration of theological themes with the ethical world created in Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park'. Various possibilities for theological schemes in 'Mansfield Park' are discussed, and the characters analysed and compared to Murdoch's characters in 'A Fairly Honourable Defeat'. It is established, by examining point of view and voice in both novels, that, while Tallis is the moral centre of Murdoch's novel, Fanny is far from embodying the implied morality of the author of Mansfield Park, whose world view is more worldly and sophisticated than Fanny Price's

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