Posted by Caroline on January 06, 1998 at 14:43:36:
In response to Father and son, written by Carolyn B on January 04, 1998 at 14:30:08
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?
I think you are using adifferent interpretation of 'intimidation'. If you grow up with an overbearing , dominating character like this, then you learn to work around it, yes. I don't think Henry fears his father , exactly, although Elinor seems to. But they do tiptoe around him exceedingly carefully, and have a very healthy respect for an uncertain temper that has an awful lot of power over their lives. Think of what happens to Eleanor at the end! Henry is motivated by the fact that if He annoys his father, his sister will bear the brunt of it.
] 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."
True, and something I'd not noticed before! Thanks!
] 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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