Friday, July 30, 2010
Northanger Abbey Update #2 – Chapters 10-15
If you remember, Thorpe makes a wild promise to drive out to the ruins of a castle much to Catherine’s interest. Now, this seemed normal enough especially since Catherine likes reading gothic novels. But remember N.A. is a gothic parody. Thanks to the footnotes in my Broadview edition (I love Broadview texts!) this episode became quite funny: “Thorpe either lies or is ignorant of the fact that Blaize Castle was actually a sham built in 1766…” and not a real castle – ha! (101).
The drama continues as Thorpe yet again thwarts Catherine’s attempt to walk with the Tilneys in chapter 13. He actually goes to Miss Tilney and tells her Catherine won’t be coming! Wow. Austen is great at creating douchey characters! Poor Catherine has to flee Thorpe’s presence and insist Miss Tilney see her so she can explain. I loved how Catherine stuck to her guns about not going with Thorpe and barged into the Tilney’s house to set the record straight. Finally, she’s getting some gumption.
But what about Henry Tilney? Is he a good guy? He strikes me as a fast talker and flatterer so it’s hard to get a read on him. I think he likes Catherine – she obviously likes him. But he does make some disagreeable statements about women at times. Is he being funny? Miss Tilney tries to make Catherine think so. I’m not sure about Henry yet. Catherine has her rosy colored glasses on when she sees H. which could be dangerous for her. I’m waiting to see how their relationship plays out.
I felt bad for Catherine when she found out her brother and Isabella got engaged. How sad that he did not tell Catherine about his intentions and let her share in his happiness. He seems to cut her out at every opportunity. He certainly isn’t looking out for Catherine at all. And neither are the Allen’s, her supposed chaperones. I think Catherine’s beginning to realize that she’s going to have to be the one to look out for herself. There’s no one coming to this damsel-in-distress’ aid.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for chapters 16-23 next week!
If you like N.A. or Austen in general, check out readalong participants’ posts like mine, links to which can be found here. It’s fun reading everyone’s take on this classic!