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|A Subtle, Tactful Eleanor Tilney (long)
Written by Pennie
(4/11/2006 10:01 p.m.)
We learn from ch 9 that Miss Tilney is rich and well dressed. Her mother had 20K pounds, so we can assume that Eleanor has at least 7K given that she has 2 siblings. Mrs Allen comments in chapter 12 that she wears white. In ch 14 she notes that she enjoys novels as well as history, and is knowledgeble in painting, so she shows signs of being an accomplished, well balanced individual.
What I wanted to focus on this week is how Miss Tilney shows great depth of character, but only if you look closely. JA comments in ch 10 that both she and Catherine speak with simplicity and truth, so Eleanor is sincere, but doesn't need to display her feelings or abilities to the world, in the same way she was able to attend the ball in ch 8 without needing to attract every male. When you do look, there are some interesting personality traits, masked in subtltey and tact.
'Henry!' she replied with a smile
Later when Catherine asks if the Tilneys will be at the ball the following evening, she replies
Perhaps we - yes, I think we certainly shall
Here Eleanor is forming a plan on the spot, based on Catherine's enthusiasm for both her and her brother's company. The next evening Henry heads straight to Catherine at the ball and asks her to dance directly, something he hasn't done previously. Although there is no real textual evidence, I've always believed this to be Eleanor's work based on her previous comments, and some comments the narrator makes later in the novel. Eleanor sees an opportunity, orchestrates a meeting, and possibly tells Henry that Catherine is interested in him. There's no need for her to be arch, or tease Catherine about it (as Isabella would), so long as the job is done.
Please forgive me if any of my post does not make sense and for the spelling mistakes I know are there but can't fix. I have started new medication, and the side effects are doing strange things to my head
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