Jane Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’

This paper is an analysis of Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’ using Roland Barthes’ literary criticism book ‘S/Z’.

The following paper examines the five codes and ideas that appear in Roland Barthes’ ‘S/Z’ and applies it to Jane Austen’s novel ‘Mansfield Park’. Barthes’ codes apply both on the small scale, to the language and on the larger scale, to the whole novel. This paper demonstrates the application of the codes, specifically the cultural and symbolic code, to both the novel as a whole and to certain selected texts.
`Roland Barthes writes about different characters in Sarrasine fitting into different roles, such as passive/active or mother/father. In Mansfield Park, many of the characters fit into these roles or actant. Fanny can definitely be classified as `passive`. She is not a radical, she stands for silence, tradition, tranquility, manners and for acting upon what one knows, not what one feels. Mary Crawford is `active` and an advocate of change. She acts on her emotions and stands for movement, modern ideas, progressiveness and speaking one’s mind instead of remaining silent.`