Let’s talk about Cathy’s parents.
It’s Beautiful People time again, and this month’s theme is parents/guardians. I’m taking a break from WTCB for now, and besides, last month I talked about Mrs. Costello, the mother of the hero of WTCB, so I’m running on two parents addition, sorry.
The thing about writing [non-YA] Steampunk is that protagonists often don’t have their parents around, and so, there is little we know about them, and little we have as interaction. The protagonist of ‘H’, Cathy, is deliberately aloof at the whereabouts of her parents – though they are not dead – and the ‘voice of reason/irrationality’ is her governess, Miriam. But she is only around at the beginning of the novel. After all, Cathy considers that her parents are still part of her life – in fact, they appear in further instalments of the series – we simply aren’t introduced to them in the first novel. Hence why I thought I’d pay an interest to them here.
Onto the questions.
- Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?
Yup, she grew up with both her parents.
- Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?
Cathy has her parents brown hair. She also has her mother’s nose and mouth as soft features. Cathy does resemble her mother quite a bit, but general society has not seen the latter for a while, so they would not be able to compare mother and daughter.
- What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!
When they were younger, Cathy’s parents were rather a la mode. They travelled a lot for their work as entomologists, and, as such, were more tanned than pale-skinned Cathy. So…entomologist chic.
- Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?
She probably takes after her mother most in terms of personality: both are headstrong and can be brash at times, but both also mean well, particularly when they have love in their hearts. The difference is that Cathy’s mother is concerned with keeping those she loves safe, even if that means wrapping them in cotton wool, whereas Cathy prefers to attack situations head-on for those she loves.
As dearly as Cathy cares for her mother, she gets along with her father better, as he is wittier and reminds her of her crush, Alexander. He also tended to take charge around the household, and this meant that there was less pressure on Cathy to help with housework and such.
- Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?
Although her parents are pushy, and at times, Cathy gets upset with them that they have cloistered her and kept her from exploring and stress her education, she doesn’t clash with either of them. In fact, I’d say that Cathy has had more opinion-butting moments with her governess Miriam.
- If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?
- How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?
Ironically, I suppose, Cathy’s parents entertained her interest for adventure by being absent on work. They kept her behind when they travelled to places like the Andes and the Amazon. On the other hand, when he was around, her father, before he hired a governess, helped her understand different species of bug, butterfly, and arachnid (though, Cathy always flinched at the latter). He taught her the maths he knew, and both parents taught her proper Lady’s English and geography. These sorts of things gave Cathy a headstart in her education, just as reading to one’s children aids their unconscious and conscious acquisition of knowledge.
- What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?
About her education, definitely. Cathy wanted to travel with them once she turned sixteen to see the kinds of exploration and expeditions they were doing. However, her father and mother wanted her to stay with her governess and complete her education to be a young lady worthy of marriage, despite Cathy’s already-blooming crush on Alexander.
- Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?
Cathy’s father’s ancestry can be traced back to the first settlers on the place we now call England, so the Anglo-Viking heritage. Her mother, however, has mixed blood, having a grandmother who was French and ancestry further in the east, though darker colouring has all but faded.
- What’s their favourite memory with their parental figure(s)?
First riding cross-country to Alexander’s parents’ house. Cathy loved to learn to ride, so it was very beneficial for her to make journeys like those from as young as four or five. Her mother used to ride with her, which allowed Cathy to watch the scenery race past, but quickly let her have her own foal, Cacao, who has grown up with her.
So, I think I’ve learnt a little more about Cathy’s society and experience of growing up via her parents. Check out the blog hop for more posts about characters’ parents.