Tilney's interest in muslins
Posted by Linda Taylor on December 31, 1997 at 11:52:20:
RE: the following text-
They were interrupted by Mrs. Allen: "My dear Catherine,"
said she, "do take this pin out of my sleeve; I am afraid it
has torn a hole already; I shall be quite sorry if it has,
for this is a favourite gown, though it cost but nine
shillings a yard."
"That is exactly what I should have guessed
it, madam," said Mr. Tilney, looking at the muslin.
"Do you understand muslins, sir?"
"Particularly well; I always buy my own cravats,
and am allowed to be an excellent judge; and my
sister has often trusted me in the choice of a gown.
I bought one for her the other day, and it was pronounced
to be a prodigious bargain by every lady who saw it.
I gave but five shillings a yard for it, and a true
Mrs. Allen was quite struck by his genius. "Men commonly take so little notice of those things," said she; "I can never get Mr. Allen to know one of my gowns from another. You must be a great comfort to your sister, sir."
My question: Does Tilney's interest in women's clothing make him appear more shallow after the reader has been exposed to Mrs. Allen's inability to display an interest in anthing but clothes? I almost feel as if JA is setting Tilney up - do we find him a vain peacock or sensitive soft goods purchaser? Or somewhere in between?
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