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Laura Vorachek

Gender and Sexuality

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Speculation And The Emotional Economy Of 'Mansfield Park', Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Speculation And The Emotional Economy Of 'Mansfield Park', Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

At the midpoint of Mansfield Park (1814), the Bertram family dines at the Parsonage, and card games make up the after dinner entertainment. The characters form two groups, with Sir Thomas, Mrs. Norris, and Mr. and Mrs. Grant playing Whist, while Lady Bertram, Fanny, William, Edmund, and Henry and Mary Crawford play Speculation, This scene is central not only because Speculation reveals certain characters' personalities, but also because another type of “speculation” occurs during the game as the players contemplate or conjecture about one another. Moreover, “speculation” in the sense of gambling functions as a metaphor for the vicissitudes of ...