Welcome to Week 2 of the Northanger Abbey read-along! You can learn more about our read-along plans in this invitation post.
Today we're going to discuss chapters 4-10. If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts below! Otherwise, feel free to check in later, after you've had a chance to read today's chapter. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
P.S. If you're a blogger, you're more than welcome to put together your own post using the button above and linking back to the Northanger Abbey read-along tag, if you'd prefer to participate in the discussion that way.
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Northanger Abbey Chapters 4-10
Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week's reading.
"For though she could not, dared not, expect that Mr. Tilney should ask her a third time to dance, her wishes, hopes, and plans all centred in nothing less. Every young lady may feel for my heroine in this critical moment, for every young lady has at some time or other known the same agitation. All have been, or at least all have believed themselves to be, in danger from the pursuit of someone whom they wished to avoid; and all have been anxious for the attentions of someone whom they wished to please."
I would say chapters 4 through 9 can be summed up in one word: thwarted.
Poor Catherine's dreams and plans seem to be thwarted at every turn. Mr. Tilney leaves Bath without so much as a "by-your-leave." Mr. Thorpe arrives and commandeers Catherine's attention most rudely. And Catherine misses one opportunity after another for reacquainting herself with the fun-loving (but gentlemanly) Tilney.
How real do these scenes feel to you? I know I can certainly empathize!
I love the little lessons Catherine is learning along the way:
- When your romantic daydreams go awry, spend time with your friends.
- Not all attention is good attention.
- The joy of a date/dance depends on whom you're with - not just the fact that you're with someone.
- Don't be too quick to assume. There could be all sorts of reasons why things haven't worked out.
- Stay positive. You never know what the next day might bring...
I'll sum up my feelings toward Mr. Thorpe in one word: Ugh.
On a happier note, chapter 10 brings another dance with Mr. Tilney! Along with an interesting conversation comparing dancing to marriage and discussing the merits of country vs. city life. It does make one wonder what's on Tilney's mind. ;)
Feel free to answer one, two, or all three of these questions in the comments section or in a separate blog post!
1. Is Isabella a friend or a "frenemy"? Do you think there's the seed of a genuine friendship between her and Catherine, or is Isabella only loyal to her own ambitions?
2. Let's talk about John Thorpe, whose presence is obviously a problem! How would you advise Catherine in her interactions with Mr. Thorpe?
3. Do you agree with Mr. Tilney's comparisons between dancing and marriage? And do you consider dancing an important component of romance?
Be sure to log your entries using the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a DVD copy of Masterpiece's Northanger Abbey! (Giveaway open to US residents only.) The winner will be announced in next week's discussion post. :)
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Join us next Thursday to chat about chapters 11-17!