Do Catherine Morland, the protagonist of NORTHANGER ABBEY, and Marianne , one of the Dashwood sisters in SENSE AND SENSIBILITYshare any trait of their personality? What they certainly share is their young age, they are both 17. But is there more?

Which of the two heroines do you like better?



Unknown said...

I'd probably say I prefer Catherine. Marianne's tendency towards self-absorption grates on my nerves after a while, until she turns things around and starts to appreciate Colonel Brandon. ;)

Luciana said...

I agree with Ruth, I also prefer Catherine.

Alexa Adams said...

This is a hard call. Marianne is the stereotypical, self-absorbed teenager while Catherine has a truly sweet and complacent character. On the other hand, Marianne does have her looks going for her and is far better informed than Catherine. I think I have to say that Marianne's company would be more stimulating while Catherine's would be more pleasant, so my mood on a particular day would determine whose I'd prefer.

JaneGS said...

I can't pick favorites among my Austen heroines just as I can't pick favorites among my children--there are different things about them all that I love.

That said, you're right, though both 17, they are very different from each other, particularly in terms of ambition and self-confidence. However, I think they have two significant traits in common.

1) Both wear their hearts on their sleeves. Neither Willoughby nor Henry Tilney have any doubt that Marianne and Catherine, respectively, are completely in love with them. I admire that, actually. When I was that age, I worked hard to conceal my admiration from the object of my affections, and then would kick myself. However, Marianne is honest in her admiration because of her philosophy, and Catherine is honest in her admiration because of her naivete. Marianne is self-consciously honest, and Catherine is naively honest.

2) They learn from experience not books/lectures/tracts, etc. Marianne refuses to believe Willougby is faithless until he actually turns away from her at the party in London. Catherine refuses to believe that Isabella is a false friend until James writes that their engagement is off. Despite manifold evidence to the contrary, both believe in what they want to be true until it is absolutely proven otherwise.

I always laugh when Mrs. Morland trots off to get a pamphlet for Catherine to read when she is moping around the house at the end of the book before Henry arrives--a pamphlet is not going to help Catherine one iota, and her mother should know that by now. Likewise, no amount of lecturing from Elinor is going to change Marianne's mind about what she believes to be right and true--she has to learn hard truths for herself.

Maria Grazia said...

@Ruth, Luciana, Alexa, Jane
I've just read your comments after a brief forced break from blogging. Thank you! You've created a very interesting debate - as usual - since you're very sensitive and fond Austen readers. Again, thanks a lot.

lunarossa said...

Great comments, MG. Hope you're fine and your forced break was more to do with your work than with your health or family. All the best. Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

It was health, unfortunately. But I'm back home now and that makes it a lot better! Thanks for being so kind, Antonella.Ciao!

lunarossa said...

MG, spero che tu stia meglio ora. Ho provato a mandarti una mail all'indirizzo su questo sito ma e' tornata indietro. Un forte abbraccio. Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

Strano non abbia funzionato. Hai usato l'indirizzo nella mia sidebar? Comunque il peggio è passato. Piccolo problema risolto chirurgicamente. Un pò di riposo a casa e sarò come nuova. Grazie. Buona serata.

Anonymous said...

jane very good you have analysed the subject. Well for me catherine because she is naive and innocent,tottally ignorant for the false people who only makes the good one like Isabella.
Marianne is a bit selfish and a little pride for her ideas and her attitude for things so she learns the real life from difficult times.
Catherine is the'' good child'', very sweet, sensitive like marianne but unselfish and ready to learn.