Monday, March 17, 2008

The End!

Wow... I'm pretty far behind the rest of you, but I finally finished the book on Thursday. As soon as I finished I HAD to go to Barnes and Noble to buy the movie, then proceeded to watch it twice in a row. I thought it was a really cute story! I think the movie helped me visualize Catherine a little better, but I liked the ending in the book better. If you think the book ended abruptly, I think the movie did a worse job of it (although I have to agree with Tecia that the kissing part is hilarious). I'm pretty much in love with Mr. Tilney; I didn't think there could ever be another man for me besides Mr. Darcy, but I found Henry's wit and humor and honesty very refreshing. He's got sort of a Mr. Knightly feel to him in the way that he gently reprimands Catherine and gradually grows in his affection for her as they grow in friendship. To me that is a lot more natural than all those "love at first sight" kind of stories.

I liked seeing Catherine grow up through the story. I'm glad that she developed a lot more sense and maturity, and that she was able to see a bit of the world and the frailties of human nature before she was married. She was raised to have high standards and proved herself true to them, even through her naivety. My absolute favorite part of the book was how Austen described Catherine's homecoming, and how seeing her family and being embraced by them washed away all of the sad and self-piteous feelings she had. What a great statement on the importance of family love!

Well, I could go on and on, but I have to do some homework. I'm glad we read this book, and am excited to find out what the next one will be!

Monday, March 10, 2008


So, i was dissatisfied with my response to the end of the novel. Here is my new response.

Catherine and Mr. Tilney deserve some credit. They waited until his father was reconciled to the fact that while she wasn't wealthy, she wasn't poor - and reconciled to their getting married. It wasn't exactly his idea of the perfect match. And Mr Tilney should be given props. While he could have pushed the issue and told Catherine that it was ok to get married right then, he waited until the timing was better. And he was faithful through it. That says a lot about his honorability. I'm also glad that he fessed up to gradually loving her. Yes. Love. I think it was more than just getting used to her. I don't think she would have married a guy who was just accustomed to her and didn't mind having her around. She's too Romantically minded.

Isabella got what she deserved and is a little hussy. -i've been wanting to say that word about her for a while- I'm sure she'll trick somebody into marrying her despite her lack of money, property and connections. Maybe she'll grow up and realize that she can find a husband easier if only she was a little less desperate. Part of me feels bad for her. She really ought to have some self-esteem.

It was refreshing to read this again. It's a nice break from Jude the Obscure.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

not bad

I liked this book over all. I think I'm pretty easy to entertain, but there are actually things I didnt' like about it. The thing I REALLY didnt' like, is when Mr. Tilney comes back and they take their walk to visit the Allen's, Austen just writes in like one paragraph their conversation. And she tells it from a narrators point of view. This is the reason I love to read these books. When the two people get together. I didnt' think she made it as obvious that it Catherine and Mr. Tilney were soul mates like she usually does in P & P, Emma, and Sense and Sen. The climax just wasnt' quite there for me. I also have to say I just skimmed over all the stupid "horror novel" part. It was boring and pointless.

Isabella is a nim- kum- poop! I think she just didn't know she was a tramp. But she found out in the end. Poor James because he thought she was good like she did, but when the first opportunity came, she bombed and was unfaithful to him. But I really do think she loved him or at least thought she did.

I don't even want to start on Mr. Thorpe. Red flags all over the place. I'm glad the Thorpes are out of the picture. They played an interesting roll in the book.

I have a question: Is Catherine wealthy? I thought the last part of the book was really wordy. I could barely make it through it.

I like Eleanor but I don't understand why she didnt' just tell Catherine that her dad is a jerk. It would have helped her "dear friend" and saved her a lot of grief. It's a good thing Mr. Tilney came to the rescue. Did you guys see the movie? When they go to visit the Allen's and he proposes they go to kiss and it looks like two little kids trying to kiss, it actually makes me laugh to think of the scene.

So that is what I think. Like always, I'm glad to have read another book.

the end

I am glad that Catherine ended up well and that Austen wondered aloud about what kind of moral she was giving to the story. 

Not her best work

First I must say that I did enjoy the book. I don't want my title to throw everyone off. However, I think that she wrapped it up rather quickly and I do not think it was a deep as some of her other books. Obviously Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are written much better. But I do like how Catherine grows up in this story. I think reality can be pretty harsh and Catherine handled it rather well. At least she had enough sense NOT to go out in a huge strorm and get herself sick (like Maryanne in Sense and Senseibility). I knew that James and Isabella would not last. Poor James, he really liked her for reasons that none of us will know. And Isabella did not learn a darn thing. Trying to get Catherine to get her a James back together! The nerve!! Thank goodness Catherine realized the importance of cutting her off. So, I guess, in the end, Catherine did grow a brain after all! I am excited for the next book. Can it be "To Kill A Mockingbird" since I just bought it at a library book sale for fifty cents?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Parting Thoughts

1. John Thorpe is an idiot. I noticed his behavior paralleled the behavior of Jane Austen's rejected lover in the movie "Becoming Jane" (he wrote a letter to the uncle of the guy she liked and told him she was a poor girl trying to find a rich husband). I don't know to what degree that movie is an accurate portrayal of Austen's life, but I think either Austen's fiction might be copying the truth or the movie's fiction might be copying Austen's fiction.

2. I still think Catherine is dumb or as Tegan dubs it "maddeningly slow." She should have caught on a lot sooner when Eleanor was kicking her out. Also, I don't care how upset she is. How can she even think of making the long journey home alone without checking to see how much money she had?

3. Eleanor is my favorite character in this book even if she does lack backbone.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Male Mrs. Bennett

The most ridiculous character in this novel is absolutely General Tilney. He is the female version of Mrs. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. Both are obsessed with rank, class, money, and their children getting advantageously married. Both also brag, dominate conversations with stuff no one cares about, make quick ill-informed judgments and react accordingly, are prideful and rude, compare themselves with others, seek out a feeling of superiority, and make it painful to be in the same room with them.

All of Austen's novels seem to have a ridiculous character embodying these traits Austen hates most in society. In Pride and Prejudice it was Mrs. Bennett. In Sense and Sensibility it was Fanny. I am fascinated that in other novels it is a woman that embodies these traits, but here it is a man. In so doing, Austen shows that ridiculousness is not limited to the female population; men and women alike have the potential to embody these negative characteristics. Although it is interesting here that the General did not start out obviously ridiculous like Fanny and Mrs. Bennett. We have to get to know him a bit to really see it. In Jane Austen's eyes these characteristics cross sex as well as class/money (Fanny and the General are very wealthy, Mrs. Bennett is not). If she has a message threaded through her novels other than marriage based on love is preferable, it is that these characteristics are to be criticized and avoided. That said, I still want to marry a rich guy--but don't worry I won't brag about how new our carpet is or anything.


I think that the problem with the young women having too much time on their hand is the fact that they spend it reading gothic romance novels. What trouble Cathrine gets into because of Udolpho! (Ch. 24). Thank goodness for the gentle teachings of a loving Henry Tilney. I sure that Henry can see the naivety and unexperience of Catherine and maybe that endears her to him more. I was so embarrassed for Cathrine getting caught looking in rooms she had no buisness or permission being in. I have to somewhat agree with Shyla when she says that Catherine is stupid and annoying. I like Catherine but she is maddeningly slow. I like that she can only see the good in people but if she can't start picking better friends then she will not be seen in a good light in society. Come on Catherine! Grow a brain and stop hanging around Isabella who never writes to you and only uses you!!