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'Dreadful Lonesome' - Northanger Abbey Chapter 8
Booloo woogy woo.
Terms in this set (11)
"Catherine's unhappiness from the events of the evening"
Catherine had an unfavourable night with poor company and the promise of better company being unfulfilled.
"Isabella having through the usual ceremonial of meeting her friend with the most smiling and affectionate haste, of admiring the set of her gown and envying the curl of her hair,"
Austen is contrasting Catherine's sombre and grounded nature with Isabella's superfluity and pretence of a kind friend and future sister-in-law. Austen didn't seem to approve of the superficiality in high society and by exaggerating these traits in Issy, she mocks this aspect.
"I would not stand up without your dear sister for all the world"
After "three minutes": "My dear creature, I am afraid I must leave you,"
It's all a façade.
"She could not help being vexed at the non-appearance of Mr. Thorpe, for she not only longed to be dancing, but was likewise aware that, as the real dignity of her situation could not be known, she was sharing with the scores of other young ladies still sitting down all the discredit of wanting a partner. To be disgraced in the eye of the world, to wear the appearance of infamy while her heart is all purity, her actions all innocence, and the misconduct of another the true source of her debasement, is one of those circumstances which peculiarly belong to the heroine's life, and her fortitude under it what particularly dignifies her character. Catherine had fortitude too; she suffered, but no murmur passed her lips."
She has been made a wallflower by John, an awkward and unenviable predicament, which contributes to her realisation of his extreme selfishness and intolerable carelessness for others' feelings. Austen also mocks the degrading perception of wallflowers and those who do not quite fit in high society through hyperbole by the narrator to describe Catherine's circumstance. Furthermore, the gothic genre is sardonically criticised with a direct address of Catherine's position and also her lack of a reaction to such marginalisation being uncharacteristic of a typical heroine of the era.
"He looked as handsome and as lively as ever, and was talking with interest to a fashionable and pleasing-looking young woman, who leant on his arm, and whom Catherine immediately guessed to be his sister; thus unthinkingly throwing away a fair opportunity of considering him lost to her forever, by being married already. But guided only by what was simple and probable, it had never entered her head that Mr. Tilney could be married; he had not behaved, he had not talked, like the married men to whom she had been used; he had never mentioned a wife, and he had acknowledged a sister. From these circumstances sprang the instant conclusion of his sister's now being by his side; and therefore, instead of turning of a deathlike paleness and falling in a fit on Mrs. Allen's bosom, Catherine sat erect, in the perfect use of her senses, and with cheeks only a little redder than usual."
Again, the protagonist is in what would generally be a dramatic situation, especially for a woman, but because of Catherine's rationality, she does not fall prey to speculation. Austen is not only mocking the Gothic genre here but also the perception of women as dramatic, illogical and helpless.
"Well, sir, and I dare say you are not sorry to be back again, for it is just the place for young people—and indeed for everybody else too. I tell Mr. Allen, when he talks of being sick of it, that I am sure he should not complain, for it is so very agreeable a place, that it is much better to be here than at home at this dull time of year. I tell him he is quite in luck to be sent here for his health." - Mrs Allen
The fact that Mrs Allen says this is an obvious attack on the social scene of Bath, as if Mrs Allen espouses it, it must be exceptionally superficial, exhausting, boring and stupid. Just like Mrs Allen.
"[Henry] asked Catherine to dance with him. This compliment, delightful as it was, produced severe mortification to the lady; and in giving her denial, she expressed her sorrow on the occasion so very much as if she really felt it, that had Thorpe, who joined her just afterwards, been half a minute earlier, he might have thought her sufferings rather too acute."
I. Hate. Thorpe.
"The very easy manner in which he then told her that he had kept her waiting did not by any means reconcile her more to her lot... Of her dear Isabella, to whom she particularly longed to point out that gentleman, she could see nothing."
She dislikes John but has not realised Issy's true nature yet. Bit of dramatic irony. Catherine is beginning to mature, but not so much that all her naivetyy is lost.
"But the hindrance thrown in the way of a very speedy intimacy, by the frequent want of one or more of these requisites, prevented their doing more than going through the first rudiments of an acquaintance, by informing themselves how well the other liked Bath, how much she admired its buildings and surrounding country, whether she drew, or played, or sang, and whether she was fond of riding on horseback."
Yep ok, Bath and more broadly, high society customs are pointless and a hinderance.
"So I told your brother all the time—but he would not believe me. Do go and see for her, Mr. Morland, said I—but all in vain—he would not stir an inch. Was not it so, Mr. Morland? But you men are all so immoderately lazy! I have been scolding him to such a degree, my dear Catherine, you would be quite amazed. You know I never stand upon ceremony with such people." - Isabella Thorpe
It is a bit exaggerated but this is one of the only times in their lives when women can be openly critical, though jokingly, of men without being admonished. Enjoy it while you can.
""Where can he be?" said Catherine, looking round; but she had not looked round long before she saw him leading a young lady to the dance.
"Ah! He has got a partner; I wish he had asked you," said Mrs. Allen; and after a short silence, she added, "he is a very agreeable young man."
"Indeed he is, Mrs. Allen," said Mrs. Thorpe, smiling complacently; "I must say it, though I am his mother, that there is not a more agreeable young man in the world."
This inapplicable answer might have been too much for the comprehension of many; but it did not puzzle Mrs. Allen, for after only a moment's consideration, she said, in a whisper to Catherine, "I dare say she thought I was speaking of her son.""
The night ends terribly and Catherine is stuck again with the most gumpish individuals in Bath.
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