The Wretched Ego of Mr. Thorpe
Mr. Thorpe, what a detestable human being. He was irritating me and I’m just reading the book. He’s so crass, egotistical, and just vile. You really feel for poor Catherine having to endure such a retched being. I believe, although Jane Austen can be tricky in these things, that he may be the snake in the grass. I did, however, find it humorous that he mentioned a general dislike for two of the books on my list of one hundred. That was pretty amusing to read. Jane had such a gift for writing these low down disgusting characters in such a way that you actually feel the disgust. Not only does he talk incessantly, and not in the charming Mr. Tilney fashion, but he’s just crude. He speaks of his horse like the abusive owner that he is. My father always said you can tell a man’s character by how he treats animals, Mr. Thorpe is definitely lacking in this area. The way he talks to his mother and sisters is also reprehensible, to say the least. If my brother every called me ugly it would become quite a nasty scene. I could not even imagine a brother saying such a thing. I also could never imagine a son talking down to his mother like Mr. Thorpe did. My mother would never put up with such disrespect and then for Mrs. Thorpe to look at her son and sing his praises, it just shows the ridiculousness of this family.
This is probably where I find Catherine Morland a little less naïve than I first suspected. She despises John Thorpe and rightly so, but her good nature will not allow her to tell her brother. Her brother is another interesting Morland. It is clear in James that he actually got more of the naïve trait than his sister. He sees nothing but good in his friend Mr. Thorpe and none of the grossness that is obviously there. He views all of Isabella’s positive attributes but none of her ridiculousness. It’s clear that he and Catherine view the world quite differently. However, they are both blessed with the kind hearts of the Morland family.
Did anyone else feel that drop in their stomach when Catherine finally got to see her Mr. Tilney? You know that feeling when your crush walks into the room and it takes everything in you not to crawl under the floor. The rush of emotion and yet the fear that somehow he doesn’t like you as much you hope. It was such a fantastic point in the book and then I wanted to kick Isabella. I honestly think that the Thorpe family is probably one of the most irritating families ever written. The whole clan seems to be dense at best and manipulative and conniving at their worst. Poor Catherine, her suffering was truly felt by this reader and I know I’m not alone. There’s not a person in the world, who has ever felt that sensation of a crush, who wouldn’t feel sorry for her at that moment. It is a testament to the fortitude of Catherine’s character that she didn’t have more of a reaction to this situation and shows quite a bit about the difference in the two eras.
I am completely hooked on Northanger Abbey and it may be a late night of reading for me. I can’t wait to dive into this story more. But no, at last, I will not do such a thing to those of you who are reading along. I will be strong and resist the urge to devour this book in one sitting. I will be good, although you have no idea how this is killing me.
Next Challenge: Chapters 9 & 10 (biting nails in anticipation)