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|GR: Catherine the first time and now the nth time
Written by Namrata
(4/9/2003 11:00 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR:John and Catherine, penned by Raychael
When I first read the book, I had the same reaction towards Catherine. In fact I think my first post on this board was something to the same effect. I couldn't like her. I thought: "Naive is one thing. This is more than naive. She's just dense". She couldn't see through Isabella at all. She couldn't see JT's affections (that sounds much to elegant for JT! ;-)). It irritated me so much that it overshadowed her goodness, honesty and simplicity. Also when I first read it, I did not realize it was a parody of Goth novels so I thought a lot of the things JA wrote about were rather silly.
After my first read I found out about the parody of Goth novels and sat down to read one. I had tried to read a Goth novel in my teens and had not been able to make it past one and half pages. And I confess I could not remember anything of those few pages so I read another Goth novel. I did not make it through this one either but I did manage to read a quarter of it. I suddenly understood all the jokes JA was making and NA went from "a bit boring and a bit silly" to incredibly funny.
Also, on my second read I knew what to expect from the characters, especially Catherine. So I did not start reading the book expecting a sharp woman like Lizzy or a strong woman like Anne. I started it expecting a regular young simple girl. And since I wasn't constantly surprised by her actions, I was able to read without thinking "She's so silly" all the time. I still thought it a few times but I also noticed her straight forwardness. She's very honest and very direct. She's simple and she's good at heart. I also noticed that she has some very funny lines which made me like her more. And this time around, since I wasn't lamenting her stupidness every few lines as I did the first time, I actually noticed that she does seem to wisen up to a few things. I don't think she'll ever become Lizzy but she doesn't remain so naive forever either. She'll always be a simple, direct person but she does learn. (And the first time I kept thinking: Will she never learn?? LOL!).
Now that I'm done ranting about my first impression of her and how that changed, here's my 2 cents as to why she is so straight forward: Her entire family is extremely down to earth and are not at all like the people she meets at Bath. She isn't expecting people to be two-faced or flattering. So she doesn't look out for it. Also she has no delusions about herself. So she isn't expecting anyone to fall at her feet.
I hope somewhere in this long post, there is some sense ;-)
-Namrata (who is so excited about joining the GR!)
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