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|GR: Moving to NA
Written by Cheryl
(4/13/2003 3:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: little has changed, penned by Cherie
] I still like him. He's abrupt and bossy at times, but that's OK; as a General, he probably got used to his preferences being law. It is a little strange that Henry and Eleanor become subdued in his presence. For some reason they seem less themselves when he's about; or could that just be Catherine's interpretation?
While it's true that we get the story through Catherine's eyes, the narrator is usually pretty detached from her wanderings of imagination. There are so very many mentions of Henry and Eleanor behaving differently in the General's presence that I don't know if they can be written off as solely Catherine's imagination. And remember, whenever she starts to think that she was relieved to leave the General's presence, it was rapidly followed by her asking herself why she should think that when he has been all politeness and consideration?
] much of the section seemed "stuck" to me, spinning its wheels with not much happening (other than in Catherine's mind, which maybe was the point.) Much as I dislike the Thorpes, at least they kept things lively in the first two sections (if only so I could mutter, "How dare you!" when one of them did something particularly rude.)
You know, youv'e hit on something that I notice every time I read this book. The Bath portions are much more funny, much more involving, than the Northanger Abbey portions. Part of that, I think, is just what you've mentioned - the cast of characters is smaller, there are not the Thorpes for Catherine to play off of, Henry and Eleanor are much too nice for there to be much conflict going on, so Catherine has to invent the conflict.
I read a great essay by Stuart Tave before the Read that I will share more of later on, but the basic premise deals with Catherine's expectations. In Bath, she has no past experiences to guide her, she has no expectations, so she is always pleasantly surprised and enjoys everything. Once she goes to Northanger Abbey - ah! this is something she knows! She has read all these books, so knows just what to expect and projects her knowledge on events. And so when her expectations do not come to pass, she is disappointed. (eg. the modern interior of the Abbey, no crumbly bits, laundry lists, etc.) Interesting idea, isn't it? ;-)
] Cheryl, I checked in here tonight after getting home from a movie, and lo and behold there were 4 posts from you, starting at midnight Pemberley time - You really start the week's discussion promptly, don't you? ;-)
LOL! I am so busy on Sunday mornings (I'm a church music director) and thankfully live on the west coast so that midnight Pemberley time is a perfect time for me to post and then go to bed. And besides, I know that there are people in Oz and NZ waiting for the signal to go ahead. ;-)
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