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|Lonely Eleanor (focus)
Written by Pennie
(4/19/2006 10:57 p.m.)
Henry specifically thanks Catherine for her kindness in keeping Eleanor company in ch 20 as he says she is lonely. In ch 22 Eleanor herself speaks very warmly of her mother's walk, about how she misses her mother and of her loneliness. She reveals that she only has Henry as a regular companion. She has visitors call on Northanger once, but it's not clear if they are the General's or Eleanor's friends.
The General is often imposing towards his children. Twice we see him ask Eleanor to speak only to interrupt her, once in ch 17 when he requests that ET invite CM to Northanger, and once in ch 22 when he requests ET's opinion on Woodston.
Perhaps it is the combination of an overbearing father and lack of constant companions which makes her so reserved. In any case, having an overbearing father makes Eleanor seem more like a gothic heroine to me.
One question I have for others is why she was so embarassed about asking CM to Northanger. Is it because she's shy, because the general is being so imposing about it or because she's aware something's not right with her father's treatment of CM?
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