Henry and the Gothic
Posted by Cassia on January 02, 1998 at 13:24:12:
In response to How could Gen. Tilney beget a Henry???, written by Greg on January 02, 1998 at 11:55:08
] ...or an Eleanor, for that matter. The General comes across as such a money-grubbing, spendthrift, drinking, gambling, curmudgeon, that we're surprised that he has such a nice son like Henry(see Linda Taylor discussion below). Or are we? I think I see a big softy behind that rough exterior of the General's. I'm inclined to think of his reticence regarding his wife's memory is because he loved her so much that he's at risk of becoming a blubbering blob if the subject comes up - I think it's there in the book/movie, especially when one sees it as an ironic twist on the scary fiend of the gothic novel. Moreover, can we see the girls' fear of fanciful things in the gothic novels in modern psychological terms: a neurotic, adolescent fear of the opposite sex, as a mysterious foreign entity that doesn't have the same feelings we have? What say you all?
I've been thinking of how to answer your question without creating a lot of spoilers. Of course, the most obvous answer is Henry and Eleanor are more like their mother in personality than their father. Or they grew more quiet and caution in response to his noise. Most likely it was both of these factors taken together. The General is most like Sir Walter so we may never be certain of his heart, how ever we can be sure that his wife managed things for him during her life time, therefore, his having children who are aware that the General needs placating and managing is logical.
As for the second question, I couldn't think of how to reply without creating a maze of spoilers.
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