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|A fantasy worthy of Emma
Written by Ramya
(4/19/2012 11:11 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, “Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?”, penned by Srirup
Continuing the theme of how NA foreshadows some of JA's later works, a few group reads ago people made a case for NA being a forerunner of Emma in some ways. Both Catherine and Emma are in the habit of admitting fantastic ideas into their heads based on popular romantic novels of the time. Catherine's blunders were not so egregious as Emma's, and she was really lucky that only Henry discovered her secret.
It does seem incredible that Catherine should have forced the General into the role of a murderer/torturer, but I believe she was reacting to the unfavorable impression the General was making on her in the only way she could at the time. I believe she felt guilty for thinking ill of Henry's father, and could only justify her growing dislike of the General by imagining him capable of horrific cruelty. Her naivete could not reconcile shades of grey in characters until that point. She believed that those who were not as spotless as an angel might have the dispositions of a fiend Ch. 25
However, after Henry's firm but gentle treatment after having discovered her secret, she comes to realize that among the English, she believed, in their hearts and habits, there was a general though unequal mixture of good and bad. , and that even Henry and Eleanor may have flaws! I believe this is the point where Catherine officially steps into adulthood, and this bodes well for her future. :-)
Henry, of course, is simply fantastic!! He certainly must be in love with Catherine by this point. But more than that, he really understands her, and knows that in her heart, Catherine is innocent: she might be naive, but she is not malicious. He also must have realized that his father's oppressive personality was having a negative impact on Catherine.
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