Thursday, February 28, 2008

Regarding your comment about my last post: Shove it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


John Thorpe makes me sick, and I feel so bad for Catherine that she constantly has to put up with him! It reminds me of this guy who made me dinner a couple weeks ago, and then obliged me to watch all these clips of some stand-up comedian talking about Hot Pockets on You-tube... how do you get out of something like that? Sorry, that wasn't very nice, but I can sympathize a little.

So... I haven't quite finished this week's reading, but I thought I should post before it is too late. From my observations I think there is something very suspicious about General Tilney. I'm not convinced he is really their father. Also, the fact that he and John Thorpe seem to get along so great is kind of odd as well. It is difficult to tell how Mr. Tilney feels about Catherine, but I think he likes her. I do find it kind of odd, though, because his attachment to her seems to have formed rather quickly. I am curious to see what developments arise from this...

Sorry, my thoughts are kind of scattered right now; probably because of my 2 mid-terms and 3 projects that were due this week, on top of all the usual stuff. I did want to say, however, that I really like Catherine as the "heroine". I think she shows a lot of strength despite her sheltered upbringing and naivety. I am really proud of her for standing up to her "friends" (if you can call them that... I don't know what kind of friends would treat a person that way) and refusing to go with them. She certainly shows much more character than her brother, who always takes the side of the pretty face and falls for the oldest trick in the book when Isabella starts crying. He is so dense. I am glad Mr. Allen has some sense and supports Catherine in her decision. Mrs. Allen is just plain silly, as many of Miss Austen's female characters are. I wish Catherine had a stronger person there with her to advise and support. But perhaps she will find that within herself.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Why haven't you responded to "my response?"

Bag the guilt; you guys are off topic

It would appear that I have yet to post. You see, I am not fond of Catherine. Therein lies the rub. And it is not looking too good for the 2nd and the 9th. What is the next book?


Ok- it has taken me a bit to read and I'm not even caught up. I got the email on a week that wasn't good for me to start reading. I am not quite through Chp. 11 but I will get there. I have to try and remember my roman numerals. You don't need it much with my life right now.

Well, first Cy.. Cy... Cy... It is amazing that mom wouldn't have sent you a book isn't it. Esp. when you hated our last two books and I quote: "Shangri Blah". And I'm sure mom didnt' know she would have to be responsible for you. As for those who didn't get a book, I beleive you got something else from Grandma. She stresses about gifts and I think appreciate should be expressed for what you did get and not what you didn't( even if it is in good fun)....;] Anyway, I'm just glad I got one. And I beleive Susan and Kristen aren't using theirs. You and Kristen are chummy aren't you Cy? The funny thing is that you keep posting...

I saw the movie when it was on Channel 8 a few weeks and ago and I must have been tired or something because what I remember from the movie and what I am reading are different. They don't describe the characters the same. It seems to me in the movie that they imply Mr. Tilney is bad, so that's what is in my head. Sorry to all of you who just "wha?!!!!!" out loud. So I am trying to forget the movie and focus on the book.
I think Catherine is just naive and is slowly coming out of it. She has never been an interest to any man so I think the fact that she doesn't like Mr. Thorpe is good. It shows she knows a bit about herself. I think Miss Thorpe is crazy. But at least Catherine has a friend.

I don't know why Mr. Tilney just left Bath without saying something to her about it earlier. She clearly likes him way more than he likes her.
I don't recall the conversations with Miss Tilney. What do they talk about. I hope one doesnt' talk about their kids and the other their gowns like Mrs. Allen and the other lady. Which is funny because they supposedly enjoy each others company when they dont' talk about anything the same.
Mr. Thorpe on page 44 when he has just met his mother, made fun of her hat and said it made her look like a 'witch' and then called his sisters 'ugly'.. no 'very ugly'. What a jerk. And then making her promise to spend all that time with him. Why is he being so crazy? Just because it's James' sister? I don't get what brought it on. Other than he thinks she's pretty.

Does Mr. Tilney thinks she's pretty? I don't know what he really thinks of her. All I know is that he knows about gowns.

I also think that Catherine can't be blamed for not getting the jokes. It says on pg. 60 that her family were plain matter of fact people who seldome aimed at wit of any kind. Eddie's family can only tell when I'm being sarcastic when they are looking at me. Talking to them over the phone or in an email (except Beth of course) is really hard. I have to say just kidding all the time. Even Eddie still over the phone I have to explain that I am just kidding. So it kinda just comes with the territory as it were.

I am excited to keep reading. Esp. now that I am trying to put the movie out of my mind. I still don't get her making fun of the times. I just don't know that much about it. But I can enjoy it on a level not as deep. That is what I like about Jane Austen. For people who know about things you can annalize and be all crazy. And for people like me, and dare I say Tegs, we can still enjoy it without all the indepth stuf. Maybe even Cylynn. or maybe she's not quite there yet.

There I've posted. I will keep reading until I fall asleep and try to catch up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tilney: Good or Just Not as Bad?

As stated before, I like how Austen is using this novel as a vehicle to express her criticisms of prevailing societal attitudes, behaviors, and ways of thinking. I think she also points out flaws in the "good" characters. I like this. Clearly, Tilney is supposed to be the hero of the book and the readers are supposed to love him. Check. But, does it necessarily follow that Tilney is an ideal man?

During Catherine's walk with the Tilneys she feels upset over not knowing much about drawing. Austen takes this opportunity to say that a person wishing "to attach" should not feel shame over ignorance. 104. Ignorance brings with it the pampering of your desired's vanity (he will love you because your ignorance makes him feel smart). "A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing any thing, should conceal it as well as she can." 104. If that isn't a pointed criticism of her contemporaries' thinking, I don't know what is. Austen goes on to say that a reasonable and well-informed man desires nothing more than ignorance in a woman. Personally, I feel quite a bit of disgust for that type of thinking. I have had guys tell me they want a wife that is smart enough to converse a little on most subjects and to help the kids with homework, but not too smart that they have any personal ambitions or that they are smarter than the husband. I would think that Austen's ideal, as is mine, is a partnership that does not depend on ignorance of one to pamper the vanity of the other. I think Jane Austen is placing value on the hunt for a true intellectual equal instead of someone with whom to feel superior or inferior intelligence-wise. Tilney, though better-mannered, more fun, and having more integrity than Thorpe, is choosing a partner that feeds his vanity rather than inspires and challenges his thinking; thus, he is not perfect and is not the ideal man. (I know everyone is going to disagree with my reading, I mean I could practically write your responses for you, but I think I am right, and I'm throwing it out there.)

Two random tidbits. First, the James and Isabella thing is just painful to read. But, I predict Isabella is going to get an offer of more money and dump James anyway. Second, Tegan would like me to say that her computer isn't working but she will post as soon as possible.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Slowly but surely

It's funny that Catherine is so convinced by Isabella's devotion to her brother. wasn't it less than a month ago that Isabella was "not" flirting with strange men she saw? Suddenly she's going to be loyal now that she's officially promised to somebody, and one she was apparently so taken with since she first beheld him. Well, I guess she's just looking to get married to the first sucker to come along. I like Catherine's loyalty, she is a true friend and it's so great that she's finding a truer friend in Miss Tilney. Their friendship started off better, in my opinion.

I still can't handle John Thorpe. He's like one of those creepy guys who seems cool at first but turns out to be stalker-ish. And then when you stop being nice to them they still don't go away so you end up having to be mean and ignore them at the expense of propriety. They are also very awkward.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Catherine's Education

Catherine is learning life's lessons the hard way. I think she can clearly despise John Thorpe as much as I do. I feel very proud of her for standing up to him, but why can't he seem to see she doesn't like him? He such a LIAR.

Isabella seems harder for her to see thru, and now that she has trapped James (what is he thinking!!) I fear Isabella will be more manipulative than ever. I think Catherine feels she should like her, but when following her heart, is more attracted to Miss Tilney, and happier when she is with her.

Mr Tilney, as perfect as he is, has a flaw, he is vain and Catherine unmasked adoration plays right into it. I really enjoyed their conversation on history tormenting children. Mr Tilney is clever and cute in all his conversations, such an opposite of John Thorpe.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Don't worry... I'm finally done with the first week's reading

Yeah, that took me way longer than it should have, but what can I say? I have a lot of other things (less enjoyable, I might add) that I am obliged to read. However, I am determined to stay somewhat on top of things and contribute to the book club this time around.

I really like the book so far. The quick wit of Miss Austen is really captivating and has made this story easier for me to get into than some of her other ones. The most enjoyable part for me is the way the characters parallel people in our day and age. John Thorpe is conceited and worldly (like so many boys I know) and bores poor Catherine to death with details of his "mode of transportation". That part made me laugh so hard because I've been in similar situations, and I was shocked to see that things really haven't changed. Isabella is a typical vain young woman-- I have known so many just like her, and I don't think Catherine is dumb for being her friend. When a beautiful, confident person pays you (a very normal and unextraordinary girl) special attention and compliments it is difficult not to be flattered and desire more of the attention. I like Mr. Tilney a lot, and think he seems very charming and intelligent. I agree that Catherine does not quite seem up to his level, but I am excited to see her grow and change as the story progresses.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


First of all let me thank Tegan, Tay and Kalli for giving me support during this very difficult time. To Tay and Kalli, I am sorry that GRANDMA Debs didn't get either of you a book, it seems she may have spent the money for your books on that stupid cat of hers, you know the one she probably stole from the Sandberg's with the hope of getting them back for stealing her irrigation.

Anyway, on to the main subject of my post.

1. How can you say that you were "determined" to be nicer and not swear this year? I was simply stating my sincerest of feelings and meant no harm. However it seems I have initiated your descent to a life filled with filthy language that I know will get worse throughout the year. I beg you to try and demonstrate a little more character in the future. I can only imagine what kind of nasty things you will have to say after this post. Please try to keep them G rated as innocent children (such as myself) read this blog on occasion.

2. Do not tell me that I can only post regarding the book when you yourself are taking the liberty of posting on a subject unrelated to the book or its characters. Shyla is the blog owner and will make the decisions related to what posts can and cannot be made. Step down and assume your roll as blog contributor, nothing more, nothing less. As far as I can see, you did not post on the first reading, probably because you couldn't figure it out before the deadline, but that is beside the point.

3. Can you belive that you are a GREAT GRANDMA? Does that make you feel old? Okay so that was a little low, but it is a valid question.

4. Please do not lie to me and say that you do not know where Shyla lives although I think she would like to have it that way. Anyway, I know firsthand that you are well aware of her location because I had to hear about your then, upcoming visit, on more than one occasion. On the upside, if you figured out where Tegan lives then I could come and visit you because Tegan and I are only separated by a few hours.

5. I still don't have the book so do not expect any book-related posts from me.

I think that is all I have for now. Just for the record and to keep you from breaking your weak resolution to be nicer and not swear, this post was written out of love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thanks Mom!

Mom, I just wanted to say thank you for all the goodies that came with the book! Before, when we have read the books, I would be reading and and come across a question I had or want to highlight a good line and would be too lazy to go and get a pen a paper, thinking that I would remember the question or comment when I posted. Of course I would not remember. But this time I had the trusty dusty bag of goodies and was actually able to write down my thoughts and questions. Now to the book, and Cy, please don't have hurt feelings about the goodie bag. We love you.

So, I like pg 32 when she goes on and on about how novelists do not get proper respect that they should. Is this her first novel?

Pg 45 If Catherine can see right through John Thrope, why can she not see that his sister is the same? I can see and understand that Catherine has set Isabella on a pedestal and nothing Isabella does will be wrong. I have done this before. However, when Catherine does begin to see the real Isabella, I think that all respect will be lost for her as it happened for me. But she will also feel a freedom and will be able to grow and move on with her life. I can't wait to see that happen. James worries me a little bit. He obviously has trouble picking out respectable people to be associated with. And I was really annoyed when Isabella told Catherine that she had been waiting for her for half an hour when she had only been there for five minutes! Who does she think she is? Come on Cathrine, open your eyes and be happy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

For Hell Sake!

Cy, Cy, Cy: For Hell Sake! Would you please get over yourself. It's bad enough I have to have ten kids but to have eleven and have the eleventh one be you is just a little more than even I can take. And even if I was inclined to send you a book, you couldn't be found in Missouri, Michigan or Montana. I'm not sure if I got the states right, but rest assured I don't even know what state Shyla lives in, so not knowing in which state you reside makes you in good company (maybe I should reword that). The fact that you are a "rebel rouser" and that the kerfuffle you have caused gives me a headache where I sit down only gives me cause to revel in consternation as I reflect upon the energy you take. Now settle down. Read the damn book. And when you post make sure it is about the book and not your bruised ego. Actually, you could be the eleventh child. You would fit in perfectly!! And I was determined this year to be nicer and stop swearing. You see what you have done?!! With all my love, debbs
I hate John Thorpe. He is such a nasty guy! I don't know if he just can't take a hint or if he just wants Catherine to punch him in the face. If it was me, I would have done something rash, so it's a good thing the book is actually about Catherine.

Catherine seems to have some issues. It seems to me that her parents should have enlightened her about the world before they let their friends take her out into it. The same goes for their son, who is making an idiot of himself for the sake of a desperate woman. Catherine was raised so that she couldn't help but be naive about people because her family was so normal-esque and accommodating of any personality. 

I'm excited about Mr. Tilney. While Catherine has a lot of potential growth, he is already a good man and worthy of Catherine's hopes. I'm also glad that he has such a nice sister who gives Isabella reason to worry about her influences over Catherine. 

A Simple Misunderstanding

Well after reading some of the previous posts concerning the book we would be reading I started to dislike my postman. Now some of you may be asking how in the world are these two related but ask no longer I will tell you.

It seemed that everyone (except for me) got the current book selection for Christmas. I was certain that Debs couldn't have forgotten about me so I waited and waited, checking the mail every single day, looking for the package that contained my book. I began to think that my postman was incompetent and couldn't deliver a package on time, but much to my disappointment it looks like I was never scheduled to receive the book.

I thought that being part of this book club would include me in more of the family things but I can see that Debs has not changed her mind about poor little Cylynn. I was never part of the family nor will I ever be part of the family.

I finally understand that I am not to be expecting the book. I guess I should have realized that "Freestone Family Book Club" literally means for the Freestone's. How could I have been so foolish?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I really liked what Miss Austen said about reading of novels (pg 22). I think this book is filled with "genius, wit and taste"

I don't think of Catherine as dumb, just without experience, she is ready to like everybody and find the good. I think she may be too worried about what others think, like when telling her brother she liked Mr Thorpe, when she couldn't stand him.

Isabella is insincere and shallow, the whole Thorpe family seems geared that way, I guess we will see.

I look forward to knowing the Tilney's better.

Austen's Heroine: The Continuously Confused Catherine

Well, I must say this novel is surprising me. It has a very distinctive tone from Austen's other novels. It is extremely tongue in cheek. As she writes, she makes fun of her own characters, society in general, and even authors of novels. I find it quite amusing.

I do wish though that since Catherine is the main character, or as Austen affectionately calls her--the heroine, that I could stand her a bit more. I'm getting a bit sick of her dull-wittedness and extreme naivete. It should only take her about two seconds to figure out that Isabella is a conceited, boy crazy, insincere, self-absorbed, attention getter type. It makes me sick every time Catherine becomes confused at the inconsistencies in Isabella's behavior. For instance, it was obvious that Isabella loved it when the boys were staring at her and couldn't wait to think of an excuse to try and catch up with them. p. 36-37. If you ask me, if I know the type, and I do, that was all in Isabella's head anyway and those boys weren't staring at her at all. However, the one thing more pathetic than Isabella's behavior is Catherine's failure to correctly interpret it.

I am worried that Tilney's wit must be almost completely wasted on Catherine. Even the narrator tells us that Catherine "hardly understood" the "archness and pleasantry in his manner [of conversing]." p. 19. In the pump room he played with the formalized, insincere type of conversation carried on by their class (how long have you been in Bath . . . surprise), the frivolous treated as serious pursuits of young girls at the time (journal writing about clothes, events, and superficial descriptions of the opposite sex), and Mrs. Allen's lack of perception, depth, and understanding. (I actually wonder if Catherine's entire character is to mock Richardson's "Pamela"--a very popular novel in England. Pamela is pretty much as dumb and annoying as Catherine is.) While Catherine is amused by Tilney, I think it is due largely to a recognition that Tilney is funny and somewhat surprising and improper; I think she is missing the depth of his humor and the deeper character observations he is making. (Elizabeth Bennett would have gotten it right away.) Which means, if he falls in love with her, Austen is really going to have to sell it to me. Because, right now, I keep thinking, how is anyone that smart going to like anyone that dumb?

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Quotes

Jane lies in Winchester—blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!
And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street, remain,
Glory, love and honor unto England's Jane.

Rudyard Kipling, 1924

``Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point. What induced you to say that you would rather have written Pride and Prejudice or Tom Jones, than any of the Waverley novels?

"I had not seen Pride and Prejudice till I had read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerrotyped [photographed] portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck [stream]. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses. These observations will probably irritate you. but I shall run the risk.

"Now I can understand admiration of George Sand [Lucie Aurore Dupin]...she has a grasp of mind which, if I cannot fully comprehend, I can very deeply respect: she is sagacious and profound; Miss Austen is only shrewd and observant.''

Charlott Bronte (in a letter to George Lewes)

I guess that it's a good thing we're not reading Pride and Predjudice. Apparently it's insipid and dull.... :)