*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the novel Mansfield Park. Read at your own risk if you have not read the book or watched any of the adaptations. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
When we fall in love, we want to believe that the person we love feels the same way. But as much as we may wish it, that is not always the case. In Mansfield Park, the reader is not given a lot of information about Mr. Rushworth. On paper, his appeal to Maria Bertram is easy to see. He comes from a wealthy and respectable family. He would give her the name and status that marriage within that world can bestow. Mr. Rushworth can also feed his male ego, thinking that he has won the heart of one of the local beauties of the season.
Oh, how wrong he is. The kindest way to describe him is that he is not the brightest bulb in the box. Almost blind to the flirtation between his fiance and Henry Crawford, there is one moment while he is playing host at Southerton (his family estate) when he seems to sense that something is up. But instead of listening to his instinct, he ignores it. Like an audience member who is fooled by the magician on stage, he is led to trust that nothing is wrong when Henry intentionally sits with his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Julia. During the preparation for the family theatrical, Mr. Rushworth is too caught up in learning his lines to see that his marriage will not be a happy one.
In the end, his status as a married man does not last long. Maria runs off with Henry, leaving her husband and her family in disgrace. Mr. Rushworth becomes a single man once again, searching for a spouse and a mother of his future children.
Mr. Rushworth is one of those characters who you want to shake and hope that he wakes up from the dream world he lives in. But as much we would want him to see the truth, we can’t make him until he learns the hard way.
Which is why he is a memorable character.
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