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|Catherine's strength of mind - Ch. 1-7
Written by CarolTS
(3/4/2009 12:20 p.m.)
This ties in with a thread that's already running - but fairly indirectly and as it's my focus, I thought I'd start a new one. I choose this focus because of having discussions on the board about Catherine being so weak-minded. One of the problems is that people have different opinions of what strong minded and weak minded are. For me - strong minded is knowing your own mind, being confident in yourself, and stating what you think. Being weak minded is the opposite! I colored Catherine's strong mindedness with orange and her weak with green.
I found that she was a fairly strong minded child - shirking her schoolwork and getting music lessons and then getting rid of them (she had to be honestly telling her mother what she was feeling to do that). She knows what she wants and she goes after it.
She enters Bath with a mixture of both. Before the ball she knows what she wants, but when she gets to her first ball there, she starts being influenced by the crowd and wants to go home (until she overhears some guys say she's pretty). But all the influences once she's there come from outside of her.
With Henry she's quite strong-minded. She tells him what she thinks - almost calls him strange to his face - and has an original thought about his behavior. She has a few moments of being influenced by him rather than herself, but not many.
With the Thorpes, on the other hand, she's far more influenced by them. I think they're more forceful in their opinions about things, making Catherine more uneasy about her own. With Isabella, she maintains her own views on things more than she does with John - with whom (in the short time we've seen them together by the end of chapter 7) she's almost completely cowed and unsure of herself. She does venture the truth (about Uldopho), but she does it very hestitantly, afraid of hurting his feelings. I find it interesting that they bring out these insecurities. And so did her brother to some extent - although I think she was still being influenced by the Thorpes there.
Sorry - I've never posted such a long message before!
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