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Written by Robbin
(3/8/2009 11:57 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Isabella's vanity, penned by TimLee
Thanks TimLee, your comment that Isabella uses doubletalk to say things that have almost no meaning got me to thinking about her fickle reviews of Miss Andrews. I think Isabella’s motives are obscured but what she says does have a purpose. She first references Miss Andrews to verify that the novels on her list are all horrid because she has not read them. She then praises Miss Andrews as a particular friend and great gal whose opinion can be trusted:
“Yes, quite sure; for a particular friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest creatures in the world, has read every one of them.”
From there Isabella talks-up how great a friend she is to Miss Andrews because: “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.” She might have just said trust me Catherine! Isabella’s story about Captain Hunt is an example of her heroic efforts on Miss Andrews’ behalf which IMO is given because she wants to impress upon Catherine that she would do the same for her and then she says that she will:
Now, if I were to hear anybody speak slightingly of you, I should fire up in a moment: but that is not at all likely, for you are just the kind of girl to be a great favourite with the men.”
Isabella suggests people might speak slightingly of Catherine which is not the best way to convince someone of your admiration. To gentle that idea she suggests Catherine will not need help like Miss Andrews as she is the kind of girl men like to which Catherine objects. To explain she favorably compares Catherine to Miss Andrews: “you have so much animation, which is exactly what Miss Andrews wants, for I must confess there is something amazingly insipid about her.” Isabella wants to ingratiate herself with Catherine and gain her trust and tries to use her relationship with Miss Andrews to further these goals. I think Isabella’s compliments turned criticism is a symptom of being tripped-up by her own exaggerations or lies.
Isabella’s assertion Catherine is just the type of girl men like is a terrible exaggeration because wonderful as she is obviously she cannot be what every man likes. The compliment is probably intended to work on Catherine’s vanity. It is followed with “I saw a young man looking at you so earnestly — I am sure he is in love with you.” and a short time later (Ch. 7) with “John thought her the most charming girl in the world” which does help gentle Catherine’s dislike of his manners. Perhaps Isabella’s agenda is not only for herself, after all, John says: I did not come to Bath to drive my sisters about; that would be a good joke, faith!
Thanks for reading! (;D)
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