Jane Austen was a Neo-classic writer and her stories are beautifully well organised. Mansfield Park originally appeared in three volumes and as in other novels she wrote they represent three major stages in the story. Unfortunately, these volume divisions tend to be ignored in many modern editions.
So, if it is any help, here are the divisions:
Volume 1: Chapters 1-18
Volume 2: Chapters 19-31
Volume 3: Chapters 32-48
Speaking purely from a personal view, I find that these Volume divisions are quite useful in helping to note the ebb and flow of event.
While looking through another edition of the novel today, I happened to come across this interesting comment which might be worth sharing:
"In Mansfield Park family functions in largely negative and ironic terms: as both constrictive space, hampering the desires of its members, and as that which is defined . . . as the only foundation of individual identity. . . Absence of family identity . . .amounts to a pathology."--Kathryn Sutherland
I don't know to what extent I would agree with that, but it does get one thinking--even as early as Chapter 1. And it can be a springboard to other ideas.
Last edited by fantasyfan; 08-07-2012 at 06:57 PM.