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Miss Austen


A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
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Cassy is struck by how different Tom seems with his family and begins to doubt their compatabiity. Is she justified?

Created: 04/08/21

Replies: 7

Posted Apr. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sbmohler

Join Date: 10/23/17

Posts: 9

Cassy is struck by how different Tom seems with his family and begins to doubt their compatabiity. Is she justified?

When she visits Tom's family for the first time, Cassy comments that the Fowles are nothing like the Austens and that "other families must be one of life's unfathomable mysteries" (47). Even more disturbing, she feels she does not know Tom anymore in this context: "She stood alone, looking around her, and was overcome by a sense of Tom's otherness. This was a man she had known since a boy! At Steventon he was familiar; yet here, here he was...who was he, exactly? Cassy was no longer sure she knew" (48).

Is Tom to blame in some way? Is Cassy being too harsh, due to her own naivete? Have you had an experience like this in which you perceive someone entirely differently when you encounter them in a new context?


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 69

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

I think she was absolutely justified! She had lead such a sheltered life adn never considered that a married life might mean a DIFFERENT kind of life. She did not expect to move away from her family, and she never thought about how different Tom's family was from her own. Maybe she never spent much time at their home ( not done in those days?) Surely they must have had her to dinner! But I think her life and her outlook was so sheltered that the thought about their compatibility was never questioned.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 41

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

She was certainly justified in doubting their compatibility. Had she not been so infatuated with her own "usefulness," she might have gotten a warning signal when Tom said: "How much more competent I will be at these and all other matters when I have you to guide me through every day.'


Posted Apr. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
larryandcarols

Join Date: 03/13/17

Posts: 11

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

Cassy is totally justified in realizing, seeing Tom in his own environment, that the man she plans to marry and his entire family are so unlike anyone in her own household. Tom intends to remove himself to another part of the world and to remove her when (and if) he returns from the West Indies to another part of England away from her family and especially Jane, providing only vague details about their future life together. Instead of focusing on what everyone saw as their brilliant match, she might have considered the dirty shaving rag in his sterile room and his own words, describing himself as a hopeless case compared to her accomplishments and many gifts. Cassandra admitted she did not really know this man she had loved all her life.


Posted Apr. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 266

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

I agree with the above opinions. She is just now getting a look at how different a future with Tom with be than with her family. Her family has an interest in life. They enjoy games, music and laughter. She is seeing that this will be happen with Tom and she is already missing these things.
She wonders if her family is one of a kind.


Posted Apr. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 78

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

She is justified in having doubts. When Tom is with her family, he fits in. But his place in his own family is different and it is a side of him Cassy has not seen before. I think she also has doubts about moving so far away from her family, especially because of her close relationship with Jane.


Posted Apr. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 298

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

I think this happens more often than not--sometimes it works just fine and other times it makes life really hard. In those days, when families really did get together very often and they were huge, a very different set of in-laws would be a serious source of discomfort. Not only would he and his family feel strange to her, they might find her strange as well. It's always fine to say "I'm not marrying his/her family " BUT you are and in those days even more so than today.


Posted Apr. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyb

Join Date: 04/14/20

Posts: 40

RE: Cassy is struck by how different Tom...

After getting to know his family, Cassy was justified in questioning the wisdom of marrying Tom. I think she would have been miserable living that far from her family, especially after meeting Tom’s family. Tom did not appear to be a fit with intellectually with Cassy either. Cassy had grown up with conversations, music and laughter which were not present in Tom’s family home.


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