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A Herdeira (1880)

de Henry James

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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4,404882,643 (3.74)319
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Washington Square by Henry James is the story of the gentle, dull Catherine Sloper who falls for the ambivalent Morris Townsend, who her father believes is a fortune hunter. When Catherine's father refuses to countenance the marriage and threatens to disinherit her if she proceeds, the dutiful Catherine is unable to choose between her father and the man of her dreams. Often compared to Austen for the precision and elegance of the prose Washington Square is a beautiful tragicomic story that is one of James' bestloved novels.

.… (mais)
  1. 20
    Eugénie Grandet de Honoré de Balzac (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Similar stories of daughters oppressed by overbearing fathers, and what happens when a young suitor enters their lives ...
  2. 10
    The Heiress [1949 film] de William Wyler (TheLittlePhrase)
  3. 00
    O grande Gatsby de F. Scott Fitzgerald (zasmine)
    zasmine: Very well defined characters here too
  4. 00
    The Aspern Papers de Henry James (alalba)
  5. 00
    The Heiress de Ruth Goetz (TheLittlePhrase)
    TheLittlePhrase: the heiress is based on washington square
  6. 00
    Passion de Igino Ugo Tarchetti (Litrvixen)
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This is a short novel which kept me more interested than I thought I'd be. I often focus on the main characters. In this book I could not relate to the main characters. I could not see myself wanting to know any of them better. While I was sympathetic to the young woman who is a victim here, her acceptance of her mistreatment was challenging to relate to. The people she should have been able to look to for support were not there for her. Through no fault of her own, they failed her. Her father, the Doctor, was more concerned about his image than he could have been. He wanted to look out for his daughter, yet in the process he thought it most important to see her as less than her mother and someone whose judgment he could easily discount. He saw his stubbornness as righteous resolution. His decisions increasingly made her more miserable. Behind it all was this notion of needing to be proper. That was never questioned. The daughter even saw her proper role as respecting his dictatorial decisions. She saw constancy, don't revolt, go along, as the only way to deal with her situation. Even in the face of his increasing determination to disinherit her to protect her from mercenaries such as Morris Townsend, she remained by his side. But she denied him what he wanted. Promise me you'll never marry Morris Townsend after I die, was his last request. She could not, and he disinherited her. Shortsightedness won.

Beyond the father and daughter, there were two other major characters. The doctor's sister, a widow, came to live with them to look after the adolescent daughter. The aunt was a busybody and inserted herself just to have a presence. She was taken by the young man and pushes Catherine to take an interest in him even though Catherine is too shy to even grasp what she might be getting into. Her aunt is determined to get around her brother's stated intentions. The Doctor sees the young man as a treasure seeker who is about to take advantage of his clueless daughter. The aunt sees the situation totally differently and intervenes without anyone asking her to. She seems to be flattered by the young man's attention to her. She seems to be living vicariously at many points. The last of the major characters is the young man. In the book, the Doctor questions the young man's character. He sees a handsome gentleman who the doctor can find no reason for the young man's being interested in a girl whose father sees her as someone no one would consider as "charming". To the Doctor, he's a scoundrel who has lived off his sister up till now and wants to live off the Doctor's daughter's wealth. The Doctor meets with the young man's sister, whose house the young man is living in. After pushing through her resistance, he wins what he wants to hear—"Don't let your daughter marry him. You must protect her from him". Case closed, as far as the Doctor was concerned.

Henry James had heard of a jilted heiress, and this book is his riff on the events. It's unclear how much of the plot is based on the jilted heiress and how much is James' imagination. The plot tends to lumber along. Years pass, and little changes. How much that reflects the heiress's reality is hard to guess. Beyond the plot, this novel's real strength is James' prose. His prose clearly gives the impression of an upper-class family. I kept wondering is this just the way it was, or are we witnessing how only James would say these things. On virtually every page I found expressions which I understood, but I had the feeling no one would say it that way today, or possibly ever. Here are just a few randomly chosen examples. There are many many more throughout the book.

P 27 "To her mind there was nothing of the infinite about Mrs Penniman;"
P 30 "...was the more august precinct of the Fifth Avenue, taking its origin at this point....
P 43 "Catherine thought this little speech wonderfully well turned;"
P 43 "Do you mean a-courting me?"
P 67 "But Catherine's meditations had lacked a certain coherence."
P 73 "The principal thing we know about him is that he has led a life of dissipation,…"
P 73 "I wish you to marry a young man with other antecedents..."
P 121 "Shall a geometrical proposition relent?"
P153 "...the doctor had come home more impracticable than ever."

And then there's the movie. I watched the 1997 film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Albert Finney, Maggie Smith and Ben Chaplin. Finney and Smith seem perfect for their roles and bring to life the doctor and his sister. Washington Square in today's NYC is a far cry from that depicted in the novel. I kept looking for the Arch, but that came later than the events of the novel. The movie is filmed in Baltimore, which has probably retained more of the look of the mid 1800s. The movie portrayed Catherine as more romantically attracted to Mr Townsend than the book. The major way the movie seemed to deviate from the book was dropping the pivotal line "Don't let your daughter marry him, you must protect her from him". I have no idea why. Both the movie and the book are worth your time. Neither made me like the characters. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Jan 18, 2024 |
Title: A Captivating Glimpse into Human Nature - "Washington Square" by Henry James
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Henry James' "Washington Square" masterfully delves into the complexities of human relationships and the effects of societal expectations in a manner that only this esteemed author can achieve. Set against the backdrop of mid-19th century New York, the novel navigates the life of Catherine Sloper, a quiet and unassuming young woman who finds herself at the center of a web of manipulation, love, and family dynamics.
The novel's strength lies in James' meticulous exploration of his characters' motivations and emotions. Catherine Sloper, the protagonist, is a character of subtlety and depth, struggling to find her voice amidst the stifling expectations of her overbearing father, Dr. Austin Sloper. James masterfully contrasts Catherine's innocence with the cunning of Morris Townsend, a young suitor who may or may not have genuine intentions. The interplay between these characters is a captivating examination of love, trust, and manipulation.
James' narrative style is characterized by his intricate language use and propensity for introspection. While some readers may find his prose dense and requiring focused attention, it's through this very complexity that he captures the nuances of his character's inner lives and the intricacies of their social interactions. The conversations between characters are rich in subtext, revealing layers of meaning that often go unsaid.
The plot unfolds leisurely, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the period's social norms and expectations. This unhurried approach may appeal to someone other than those seeking swift resolutions. Still, it lends authenticity to the story's depiction of societal constraints and the personal battles fought within those confines.
However, some readers might find fault with the deliberate pacing, wishing for more dramatic twists or faster developments. Additionally, the novel's exploration of gender roles and power dynamics, while undoubtedly a product of its time, might come across as outdated or even frustrating to modern sensibilities.
In conclusion, "Washington Square" is a thought-provoking exploration of human nature, love, and the impact of societal pressures. Henry James' unparalleled ability to dissect his characters' emotions and motivations creates a relevant and engaging narrative over a century after its publication. While the novel's deliberate pace and historical context might not resonate with all readers, those who appreciate psychological depth and intricate character studies will find this novel rewarding. ( )
  Pharmacdon | Aug 12, 2023 |
Compelling read, despite the old style of "telling" writing. The psychology of the characters was fascinating. ( )
  bjsikes | Jan 30, 2023 |
I wont deny that Washington Square is a great literary work,but I dont like the book because of its message.

Plain and ordinary women can never find true love (unless if theyre heiresses then they can buy love)

I know, I know its set in the 1850s and they had different way of seeing things back then.

But I still cant like it.
( )
  Litrvixen | Jun 23, 2022 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (46 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
James, HenryAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Arbonès, JordiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Auchincloss, LouisIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Balseiro, María LuisaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bonnafont, ClaudeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
du Maurier, GeorgeIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hall, DonaldPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Heesen, Martha,Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
James, LloydNarratorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ozick, CynthiaIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Poole, AdrianEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Raver, LornaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, Lawrence BeallIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Van Doren, MarkIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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During a portion of the first half of the present century, and more particularly during the latter part of it, there flourished and practised in the city of New York a physician who enjoyed perhaps an exceptional share of the consideration which, in the United States, has always been bestowed upon distinguished members of the medical profession.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Washington Square by Henry James is the story of the gentle, dull Catherine Sloper who falls for the ambivalent Morris Townsend, who her father believes is a fortune hunter. When Catherine's father refuses to countenance the marriage and threatens to disinherit her if she proceeds, the dutiful Catherine is unable to choose between her father and the man of her dreams. Often compared to Austen for the precision and elegance of the prose Washington Square is a beautiful tragicomic story that is one of James' bestloved novels.

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