This passage portrays a typical relationship between father and daughter in the nineteenth century. The father is an influential figure who will have the last word, and the obedient daughter seeks his advice about her future and the man she wishes to marry. However, through the tone of the passage and their actions, there is evidence of a certain amount of hostility and stubbornness from Catherine towards her father, and vice versa.
Catherine’s timid, gratifying demeanour and attitude while persuading her father to condone the marriage shows the she is afraid of her father and what he thinks of her which is shown by her hesitation to speak her mind ‘ the girl hesitated a moment’. On the other hand, she is obviously a head strong young woman who wants to marry Mr. Townsend, which is conveyed by her stating that she would like to make her father happy but ‘I am afraid I can’t’ as she is determined to marry her love.
The phrases ‘she waited a moment, motionless’ and ‘had not the courage to turn the latch’ makes her feelings of dread apparent, as she is anxious about the outcome of the conversation she and her father are about to share. The passage is clear in stating that the father is a ‘doctor’, therefore, asserting that he is well educated individual and has a discerning, and scientific mind. His profession of dealing with problems of a physical and practical nature renders his character rather unapproachable for a young, whimsical woman who wishes to act as her heart dictates.
Throughout the excerpt there is an abundance of dialogue between Catherine and her father which creates a true conversation, and an element of reality, helping the reader to identify with the situation and the characters’ feelings toward each other. When Catherine addresses her father she is quite tentative and respectful, while trying to get the message across by repeating that she ‘should like to see him again’, referring of course to Mr. Townsend; however, she makes it clear that...