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|A different reaction
Written by Line
(3/26/2009 9:34 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Did he really detour through compassion?, penned by JoAnn
"Among all the great variety that you have known and studied."
This one really doesn't bug me much, because I hear the kindness in Henry's voice as he says it. Yes, he's teasing Catherine, but he's doing it kindly, IMO.
As for Henry's description of Catherine's presumed feelings on losing Isabella, I think JA's contemporaries would immediately recognize this as the expected reaction of a Gothic or romantic heroine. On losing a friend, the GH really *would* feel as if she were losing half of herself, that there was a unfillable void in her heart, that she never wanted to attend a ball again, etc., etc. It's not just Henry's exaggeration, but the Omniscient Narrator once more making fun of the Gothic Heroine's over-the-top sensibilities, IMO. I think Henry's friendly teasing here helps Catherine realize that this is *not* the end of the world after all.
As for the end of the chapter, it seems obvious to me how Henry "leads Catherine on" to spill the beans, and the fact that she finds it so "unaccountable" is quite funny, IMO.
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