Father and son
Posted by Carolyn B on January 04, 1998 at 14:30:08:
In response to The General, written by Myretta on January 04, 1998 at 13:50:33
] Rachel Brownstein notes that
] [Henry Tilney] is dominated and intimidated by his overbearing father, [snip]
I 've never thought Henry was intimidated by the General so much as annoyed by his dominance of all family matters. Perhaps while Henry might be prepared to admire Catherine's physical charms he was not about to voice such thoughts (as the General does) on so new an acquaintance??
I always had the impression that Henry and Eleanor, having lived with the General all their lives had gotten use to letting him have his say for the sake of peace. Hence Henry's silence when Catherine visits their household in Bath. Better to keep his mouth shut than risk an quarrel in front of their guest?
] His [General Tilney's] worldliness provides a counterpoint to the naivete of Catherine and Henry and the convergence of his motive and Catherine's are, as Brownstein also notes, "among the nice ironies that make this romance so cheerful."
I had never really thought of Henry as naive, either. I considered him as more attuned to propriety, etc. than his father, and also more subtle in his courtship. His attitude to his father might be compared to Elizabeth Bennet's attitude toward her mother - yes he is my parent, but he's d--- embarrassing to take out in public sometimes! : )
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