by Jane Austen
As Catherine's supposed chaperone, Mrs. Allen is pretty ineffectual. If Catherine were more rebellious, then Mrs. Allen would be a dream – she agrees with anything Catherine says and basically lets Catherine do whatever she wants. Of course, Catherine actually wants guidance, so Mrs. Allen really drops the ball in that respect. She provides comic relief and basically helps the plot along by doing nothing at all – well, besides taking Catherine shopping, introducing her to those troublesome Thorpes, and making silly comments.