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|GR: Brothers and Sisters: The Morlands
Written by Cheryl
(4/1/2003 4:16 a.m.)
My focus this read is on the three brother/sister relationships in NA. I have four brothers myself, and amongst them is a James Morland, a Henry Tilney and, pity me, a John Thorpe. First up: The Morlands.
This seems to me to be your basic, cordial brother/sister relationship and is characterized by careless affection. JA took such pains in the first chapter to tell us that Catherine is your basic, “normal” girl. Here is your basic “normal” sibling relationship.
Catherine is the fourth child out of ten, the eldest daughter. It is easy to see how she grew up as a tomboy with three elder brothers. When they meet in Bath, each are happy to see the other and greet each other affectionately. JA says that James is “sincerely attached” to Catherine. They have a nice walk home together, sharing family news, easy and comfortable with each other. Catherine thinks he is in Bath to visit her, and he kindly doesn’t disabuse her of that notion saying “Indeed, Catherine, I love you dearly.” A good man, your basic nice guy.
Of course, like most brothers, his sister takes a back seat when there is a pretty girl about. Even when alone and chatting, James is preoccupied with thinking of Isabella. At the dance that evening, he spends his time talking to and dancing with Isabella.
I think to be a perfect elder brother, he should have danced with Catherine and paid her a bit more attention, but again, I see this as “normal” brother behavior. I think JA is taking great pains to paint the Morlands as an ordinary family, made up of ordinary people.
I’ll tackle the Thorpes and Tilneys another day! ;-)
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