Henry, Catherine, the whole megillah (longish)
Posted by Stolzi on January 16, 1998 at 12:04:39:
Last night I reached the point (end of chapter 24) where Henry is shocked by Catherine's suspicions about his mother's death. I have to say that this struck me as rather weak on the novelist's part. Catherine has said virtually nothing. Just from finding her in an unexpected place, and knowing about her predilection for the Gothic, and hearing an inquiry or two about his late mother's illness, Henry divines that she suspects his father of murder? Even for the intuitive Mr. Tilney, this is quite a leap.
Speaking of the intuitive Mr. T, I have a vagrant theory of my own. It seems to me that in this early novel, Jane put together the sort of hero she could most fancy. He has every talent and every sensitivity. Later, perhaps, she realized that "into each life some rain must fall" and Darcy, desirable as he is, has his brusqueness and difficult personality, Mr Knightley, estimable though he is, is a bit stuffy... and neither one, I'll wager, would have taken any interest in muslins.
My other opinions? I'd forgotten what a prize jerk John Thorpe is!! A great piece of character painting.
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