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|GR: chaps.9-14,The Thorpes and the Tilneys at play
Written by Tara O'Donnell
(4/6/2003 9:51 a.m.)
Since my GR focus is on the leisure activities and how they define the characters,I have noticed quite alot about the Thorpes. All their entertainments seem to be excuses for bringing attention to themselves.
To start,John Thorpe's love of an open carriage and his insistence on going on daytrips seem to be his way to: a)show off and b)let everyone see him with Catherine. His choice of direction in chapter 11(driving down Pulteney street), where many people and particularly,Henry Tilney could see him was very delibrate,IMO.
Isabella's outside interests seem to be very shallow-her reading list comes from one of her friends(who she finds "insipid"),she spends alot of time at the theatre,chatting about nonsense(chap.10) instead of watching the play-granted,many play goers at the time often gossiped during performances(much like folks talking during the movies today) but she seems more interested in letting Catherine and anyone else who can hear them,know about her interest in James and,more importantly,James' interest in her.
The Tilneys are very much the opposite,thank goodness! Henry is just at ease in the ballroom as he is taking a walk with his sister and Catherine. Henry enjoys both dancing and reading novels for their own sake:"The person,be it gentleman or lady,who has not pleasure in a good novel,must be intolerably stupid". Hear,hear!
Eleanor's love of reading history suggests a more serious and mature mindset but I do like how both Tilneys do not make Catherine feel inept when she professes to know nothing about drawing. Instead,Henry is most delighted to give her a crash course in the subject,not to show off his knowledge but to help her understand the conversation. That's my idea of a gentleman:)
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