Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|"Gothic" Eleanor & JA's defence of the novel
Written by Delories
(4/25/2006 4:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Thoughts on Eleanor..., penned by MandyN
But, just as other readers have noted on this board, in the same way that H&C's courtship stands in sharp contrast to that of the usual Gothic couple, yet has "Gothic" elements (he lives in an ancient abbey, the tyrannical father; she is separated from her family, etc.), Eleanor shows that the "Gothic" elements in her character, tastes, and situtation are also compatible with a fully-rounded, flesh-and-blood character.
And is isn't that one of the best possible defences of the novel? That whilst being entertained by a fictitious plot and its denizens, we are also learning something about "real" people, something that we can apply to our own lives to make _us_ better people? I wouldn't be surprised if that were JA's intention with Eleanor, to put a "real" Gothic heroine as a counterpart for the "imaginary" Gothic heroine, Catherine ("imaginary" in the sense that her own overheated imagination conjures up a fantasy Gothic situation, which Henry quickly dispels). And I can easily imagine, as has been suggested here, a more "fleshed-out" version of NA, with almost parallel Eleanor and Catherine plots à la S&S.
This is a really interesting line of thought, and one that had never occurred to me before (this is my third time reading NA all the way through, without counting innumerable dips into favourite passages!). That's why GRs are so wonderful -- you Pemberfolk come up with some wonderful ideas!
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.