Henry Bennet and Catherine Allen
Posted by MB on January 05, 1998 at 13:01:47:
In response to Henry & Catherine *Possible spoiler*, written by Valerie McKnight on January 02, 1998 at 20:09:51
] ] overall observations - Is Henry an early portrait of, say, Mr. Bennet? Less cynical and more involved, certainly, but is this what Mr. Bennet was like before he was jaded? And would he have continued more like Henry had he married better?
] Mr. Bennett allowed himself to be captured solely by "youth and beauty", without any real understanding of the girl's character. I think Henry shows himself to be a more sensible, self-controlled man from the outset. He is acquainted with Catherine's circle in Bath, and makes her acquainted with his only sensible relative. He also witnesses Catherine's reactions to a number of trying circumstances. I think that Henry's initial superiority is what allows him to make a better marriage.
Ah yes, good point. Although I still do think that Henry and Mr. B. share many qualities. I can post more about this now that we are further into the novel - din't want to include any possible "spoilers" before! Actually, the "new" Henry/Mr. B opinions will have to wait until later in the week when I have more time!
] ] - Catherine seems to have the most sensible, loving, and responsible parents of all the heroines in Austen
] Ah - in this case the role of "foolish parent" is filled by Mrs. Allen, and in some ways the General, who is responsible for her while she is visiting his family. All of Austen's heroines are let down by those who are in charge of them, though sometimes not by natural parents - Lady Russell and Sir Thomas Bertram, for instance.
Excellent! You are so right - hadn't considered "surrogate" parents. And on the flip side, when JA gives a heroine "bad" parents, she often gives her good surrogates. I'm thinking of the Gardiners in P&P and, to a lesser extent, Mrs. Weston in Emma.
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