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|Isabella--master of camoflage?
Written by Vicki I.
(4/7/2003 2:24 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Isabella as heroine, penned by Cheryl
] Good point. Isabella has all the trappings down, doesn't she? She has all the surface moves of friendship, flirtation and love, but no substance.
This is my 3rd read of NA. Even from the very first read I was suspicious of Isabella right off the bat. She is way too pushy and gushy for me to warm up to as one of the "good folk" in the novel. This time around I am beginning to believe that Jane is painting us a picture of a female predator on the prowl for a husband.
Nature's predators use camoflage all the time, appearing to be what they are not in order to get close enough to strike. Isabella "confesses" her love for James to Catherine and feigns distress and fear that her lack of a dowery will work against her. She's not stupid, she has played up to CM and ingratiated herself as Catherine's dearest friend. If she appears to be a defenseless, humble heroine she can draw James even more deeply into her "web" of coquetry and have an unwitting ally in his sister. She's a master at blending into her surroundings (in this case the social circle of Bath's marriagable young ladies)but never for one moment taking her mind off her goal--catch a husband. What better way to do that than to mirror the behavior of the sister he loves?
Brothers and sisters will talk to each other. John Thorpe pumps poor Catherine mercilessly for information on the Allens' financial standing. The reader can see his wheels turning and his greedy little eyes sparkling at the thought of all their money. Undoubtedly he shares this tid bit of information with Isabella behind the scenes we read about in the book.
]One wonders if she is even capable of a true depth of feeling.
I seriously doubt that she is, unless that depth of feeling is a dedication to taking care of herself. While I don't agree with her motives, I can't blame her given the tenents of Regency Society and the position of women in Regency England.
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