Possible answer to #1
Posted by Carolyn B on January 07, 1998 at 23:23:40:
In response to Is he?, written by Constanza on January 07, 1998 at 14:29:59
] 1) Is Henry courting Catherine?
] I sometimes think he is, sometimes that he is not. I am sure he is not flirting: he wouldn't dare with Catherine, so young and candid. So, he must be in earnest. But then, he is usually charming, he is being his usual self. So is he or not?
I have been thinking about this. Going back to their introduction by the MC - very mundane - sort of a blind date. Henry could have been introduced to anyone, and who knows what his previous experiences are in this situation. (More Isabellas than Catherines perhaps?)
In conversing with Catherine on the first night, he begins to see that she will laugh at his jokes (even if she doesn't entirely understand them, she at least understands that he is joking) and she will talk back to him ("But, perhaps, I keep no journal.") So far so good. She is pleasant company. (and how many women on the social scene at Bath would have reacted as Catherine did?)
I think as their acquaintance progresses, he likes her honesty and good humor, but he isn't necessarily courting her. She makes a good companion for his sister. When the three of them make the excursion together, he continues to find her charming, and better yet she needs his instruction : ) "a good-looking girl with an affectionate heart and a very ignorant mind cannot fail of attracting a clever young man"
I think he is being himself, and the good-humored repartee which can be called flirting, I suppose, is part of that.
Was it the general or Miss Tilney who proposes inviting Catherine to NA? Henry is certainly not opposed to the idea since it will benefit his sister.
Since we are discussing the situation in Bath, I will end there!
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