The quick brown Henry jumps...
Posted by Valerie Mc. on January 17, 1998 at 18:39:18:
In response to Henry, Catherine, the whole megillah (longish), written 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.
Remember that Henry and Eleanor can talk about Catherine. Cathy has been pestering Eleanor with lots of leading questions about the family, their house, their mother, etc. Eleanor has been shown to be perceptive about Cathy's feelings in Bath, when she was talking about Henry. And Henry has already managed to "get" Cathy with that joke about the riots, which shows how credulous she is. He's also very familiar with the cliches and "reasoning" of her favorite form of literature.
Cathy's behavior when Henry met her on the stairs was very odd and conspicuous - first exclaiming "Good God! How came you up that staircase!" in a voice of "more than common astonishment", then blushing and turning pale. He asked several leading questions, and her answers pretty well showed what she was thinking, to someone familiar with her. All in all, it was not an unwarranted inference.
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