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Written by CarolTS
(4/25/2003 10:52 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Catherine's Three Mother Figures, penned by Cheryl
] Mrs. Tilney: This is the one which surprised people. How can she be a Mother Figure when she is dead? Ms. Casal contends that Mrs. Tilney has a very strong presence at NA and Catherine's fantasies about her propels much of the action there. She also reflects Catherine’s longing for a Mother Figure to explain what’s wrong at Abbey.
I totally agree with what Ms. Casal says about Mrs. Tilney. I guess my biggest problem with it is my idea of what a mother figure does. I think that a mother figure guides and directs ones actions or at least the thought processes that lead to actions, not just propel the action along in the novel. Doing that makes one a strong character within the novel - which I think that Mrs. Tilney is - but doesn't make one a mother figure. I don't see that Mrs. Tilney has that much influence on Catherine's behavior or way of thinking herself. Her story and Catherine's wild thoughts about what happened to her do create an atmosphere where Catherine changes - probably the biggest change for Catherine in the book after she became a heroine - but I don't see Mrs. Tilney as helping that along. That was Henry who caused her to look at herself and evaluate what she was doing.
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