We first meet John Thorpe at the beginning of chapter seven where through a dramatic turn of events Isabella and Catherine had been in “pursuit of two young men” that coincidently are Mr Morland, Catherine’s brother, and John Thorpe, Isabella’s brother. Jane Austen describes Mr. Thorpe to be a “stout” “plain” man of “middling height” and “ungraceful form”. We are made aware of Mr. Thorpe’s arrogance, pride and impertinent manner where he is “easy” where he should be “civil” and “impudent” where one should be “kind”. In the chapter seven we find out a great deal about Mr. Thorpe’s manner, character and views.
One of the first characteristics of John Thorpe is his dialogue between himself and others. He has a loud arrogant dialogue that is made apparent to the reader. On his first encounter with Catherine he asks her how long she thinks he has been “running from Tetbury” there are no words of greeting or consideration here. Soon after James Morland replies it was “twenty three miles” upon hearing this John Thorpe exclaims “five and twenty if it is not to the inch”. With total disregard of James Morland he is certain of his “surer test of distance”. With the argument of his horse being “made for speed”. No matter what the “road-books, innkeepers, and milestones” suggest John Thorpe is sure his more has gone the extra two miles and refuses to take into consolidation a word another has said. This proves he is big headed and arrogant. Another trait that is common in John Thorpe’s dialogue is the use of swearing such as “d- it!” the use of dam occurs several times within his speech. This and the constant flow of short sentences followed by an exclamation provide us with the strong sense that John Thorpe is a man who likes to exaggerate and Hyperbole the context of his speech which leads him to be a “rattle”.
John Thorpe also has his character presented in his actions and the manner of which he presents himself. He is very boastful over his “gig” bragging of how he received it second hand for “fifty guineas” he then brags of how he could’ve received it for less but “one has the means of doing a kind thing by a friend” but he does “hate to be pitiful”, this shows how inconsiderate and rude he is. What is also amusing is that the “gig” is a very common carriage and is in favt not as impressive as Thorpe pictures it to be. Upon first being introduced to Isabella and Catherine he “carelessly touched the hand of Isabella” but bestows a “whole scrape” and a “short bow” to Catherine. In conversation he is only eager to talk of what pleases him and when Catherine eagerly asks him of his opinion of Udolpho he exclaims he “never read novels” not if he has “something else to do”. Catherine only asks this question after a very tedious time spent talking of horses to which the conversation was spoken at such length that neither partner had much left so say on the subject! Thorpe then exclaims that he stopped reading Udolpho when he discovered that the