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|GR: The purpose of these drives
Written by Tori Marie
(4/7/2003 12:19 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The Irritating John Thorpe, penned by Mark C
Yes, he is pretty scary here, isn't he? He doesn't listen to Catherine either, when she tells him that James hasn't enough money to buy his own rig. He dismisses her with such a misrepresentation of the facts that she doesn't understand what he means. It seems to me here that Thorpe has either got the wrong idea about James' wealth or that he is, as in so many other matters, exaggerating to suit himself. With all the lies he tells, I'd expect Catherine to believe the latter. At any rate, I'd expect James' sister to know more than his friend about how much money James has, and what James does or does not do with that money is none of his friend's concern.
Here's an interesting question--why do you think Thorpe wanted to go on these drives in the first place? If you think about the amount of time they spend cooped up in the gigs, it isn't so the four of them can converse together. There's no music or other entertainment in view at the end of the road. Is it the scenery? Do they plan to stay in the places they are supposedly going to for a longer period of time than the round trip drive? That is, is the destination the attraction or is the drive the thing?
I tend to believe that it's the drive and, more importantly to Isabella, James and possibly Thorpe, the chance to converse alone with an attractive member of the opposite sex. The fact that John refuses to take one of his own sisters in Catherine's stead seems to support this. If this is so, then it's even more selfish, to my mind, for them to pressure her into joining them in this way. For Isabella and James, it isn't her company that they seek, but her presence to make their own meeting appear less improper. For Thorpe, even if he seeks her company because he fancies her, lying to get her into his carriage and forcefully keeping there is hardly a gentlemanly manner of wooing.
] What of the role of Isabella? (snip) Is she following John's lead or is John following hers? Certainly her complicity should not escape notice.
No indeed! She professes to be Catherine's friend, but would a true friend behave in this manner? I think not.
] I suspect that he is very much over spending at the moment in order to impress. Are the Thorpes both looking for some money to marry? It seems as much to me, at least at this point.
Yes, it looks that way to me too.
] It appears a good amount of effort is put in to keep Catherine away from the Tillneys. Could these attempts to basically kidnap Catherine be about keeping her away from them?
You know, I've been so busy focusing on the Thorpes keeping Catherine with them that I hadn't considered the possiblity that they were also keeping her away from the Tilneys. Yet that seems to be exactly what they are doing at the same time. Further, in tricking Catherine into rudely not showing up for and cancelling engagements with them, they could be trying to lower the Tilneys opinion of her, which would be a very effective means of keeping Catherine and Henry Tilney apart. Since Isabella knows of Catherine's feelings for Mr. Tilney, but also slips in some little hints about her and Mr. Thorpe, I think it's fair to say that this might be a part of her motivation here.
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