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|Thoughts on Eleanor...
Written by MandyN
(4/24/2006 3:21 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Yes, something on the lines of..., penned by Reeba
Yes, right where I got the idea Reeba !
I think JA gives Eleanor 'shadings' of a literary Gothic heroine yet there is more to her charecter too.
Yet there is more to Eleanor than being similar to a gothic heroine.
] Perhaps JA concedes that the background of the gothic heroine is possible in reality, but the other things not ?
In some ways Eleanor's circumstances make her as like a gothic heroine- yet these were also ground in the reality of her era.
A couple of background cirumstances...
1. Gothic heroines often have mothers who die when they are young.
In Regency England, many children were left without a mother, (another eg is Emma).
2. Gothic heroines were often in the power of a tyrannical male, often a parent or guardian.
As we know from books like 'The Gentleman's Daughter', a Regency husband/ father held dominion over home & family.
Eleanor was witheld from marrying a gentleman due to his inferiority of situation (Ch. 31).
[ Dear, old imposing dad is of the old school. Despite all his fancy Rumsfordian renovations- General Tilney does not have modern values. He's an old fashioned snob and a show pony, imo. ]
Unlike General Tilney, Eleanor shows an enlightened attitude.
Eleanor is more similar to Henry & Catherine, her conservative streak and dislike of civil disorder may reflect the C18th.
I love Eleanor Tilney. She is one of my favourite charecters in Austen. :)
One reason Eleanor maybe overlooked by academics is they really don't know what to make of her ! She almost defies the traditional idea of NA being JA's attack on gothic books.
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