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|GR: Brothers and Sisters: The Tilneys, Week3
Written by Cheryl
(4/18/2003 4:16 p.m.)
I don’t know that I have much to add to discussion which has already taken place thus far this week. We seem to have covered in different threads all the notes I had made about the Tilneys week. But being fairly anal-retentive, maybe I’ll just highlight one that particularly struck me this week – the fellow-sufferer connection between Eleanor and Henry.
Henry and Eleanor continue to be congenial to each other and solicitous of Catherine. They are fun, well informed, and kind, but they seem to undergo a personality change when around their father. If Catherine had been born in a latter age, she might have been tempted to look under their beds for pods! ;-)
When at dinner with the Tilneys
”Instead of finding herself improved in acquaintance with Miss Tilney, from the intercourse of the day, she seemed hardly so intimate with her as before; instead of seeing Henry Tilney to greater advantage than ever, in the ease of a family party, he had never said so little, nor been so little agreeable”
They are described as having a “want of spirits” in the General’s company.
”…but General Tilney, though so charming a man, seemed always a check upon his children's spirits, and scarcely anything was said but by himself…”
Even Frederick isn’t left out of the dampening effect of his father:
”…but she scarcely heard his voice while his father remained in the room; and even afterwards, so much were his spirits affected, she could distinguish nothing but these words, in a whisper to Eleanor, ‘How glad I shall be when you are all off.’”
There seems to be a conspiracy of silence, an unspoken accord and understanding of behavior limits between the siblings. While one mourns that it is necessary, it also shows the closeness, especially of Eleanor and Henry, who most often bear the brunt of their father’s company.
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