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|GR: Onward to the Abbey!
Written by Tara O'Donnell
(4/13/2003 9:32 a.m.)
Catherine's visit to Northanger Abbey gives me an opportunity to reflect on General Tilney. Having a visitor to one's home in JA's time was considered a pleasure and sign of friendship but the General seems to have much more in mind.
I've been focusing on the leisure activities of the characters and the General,despite his friendly manners to Catherine,doesn't seem to enjoy any pastime. He pretty much insisted on Catherine being invited(I do think Miss Tilney wants her there but her father didn't give her a chance to ask Catherine,did he?) and is overly concerned with appearences.
Poor Catherine feels embarassed when Capt.Tilney gets scolded for his lateness as an insult to her(the Captain doesn't seem to mind either way)and later,when Catherine arrives at the Abbey,she's rushed both by Eleanor and the maid to be ready for dinner(due to the General's abhorance of tardiness) and then Eleanor gets reprimanded for having Catherine be prompt at the table! All of which makes Catherine uncomfortable,which is not what you want a guest to be.
The General does admit to enjoying his garden but seems more pleased when Catherine mentions that Mr. Allen doesn't bother with his garden or hot house. He certainly likes to show off his estate as a reflection of his wealth but what it says about his character is not very complimentary.
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