Economics in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Essay

Economics in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Essay

Length: 1211 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

During Jane Austen’s era, there was a large economic gap between social classes. The families of the nineteenth century, especially those with a superfluity of children, attempted to marry their kids off to wealthy suitors. When Austen wrote Northanger Abbey, many economic events occurred, such as the Restriction Act of 1797, which limited the amount of money English subjects could withdraw from the bank and caused a panic among them. In Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Austen’s characters portray the effect of monetary status on her society’s behaviors and attitudes.
British citizens panicked as the parliament enacted the Restriction Act of 1797. The act “had an economic impact upon everyone living in Britain at the time as it called into question the value of paper money” (Craig 144). Many members of society were worried that the economy would break down and the bank would leave them with useless paper money. The solution to this problem was to marry their plethora of children off to wealthy suitors who not only possessed copious amounts of paper money, but also held generous acres of land and metals with no value depreciation. In the event that the panic was a false alarm, which it later turned out to be, the wealth from paper money would provide protection, security and at the very least a sustainable living. Austen creates a compelling example of the type of parent who basically sells of their children for a better advancement in life in General Tilney from Northanger Abbey. General Tilney listens to John Thorpe’s exaggeration “of the [Morland] family as yet more wealthy than his vanity and avarice had made him believe” and blindly trusts in Thorpe because he wants to believe this is true (Austen 229). General Tilney then ...


... middle of paper ...


...ce and monetary status. Austen includes the foils of the society she observes and the actual characters that represent her polite society to communicate her economic theme of monetary wealth and high status in humanity negatively influencing the world of polite society.


Works Cited
Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2005. Print.
Babb, Howard S. “Northanger Abbey.” Jane Austen’s Novels: The Fabric of Dialogue. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1962. 88-98. Print.
Craig, Sheryl. “Northanger Abbey: Money in the Bank.” Persuaions: The Jane Austen Journal 32 (2010): 144-153. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 22. Oct. 2013.
Gooneratne, Yasmine. “Northanger Abbey.” Jane Austen. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1970. 52-57. Print.
Herbert, David. “Place and Society in Jane Austen’s England.” Geography. 76.3 (1991): 193-208. JSTOR. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about `` Northanger Abbey `` By Jane Austen

- Jane Austen’s novel, “Northanger Abbey” was written in 1797-98 and wasn’t published at London after her death in 1818. The novel is about a teenage girl, never been far away from home, Catherine goes on an adventure to Bath, unexpectedly ending up falling for Henry Tilney. Invited by the Tilney to visit their home at Northanger Abbey, Catherine became uneasy with an mystery instinct, like the mystery novels she read, of General Tilney, Henry’s father, possibility hiding dark secrets of neglecting his wife and caused her death....   [tags: Jane Austen, Novel, Northanger Abbey, Fable]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Jane Austen 's Northanger Abbey

- Feminine identity is formed according to many definitions and includes many factors such as personality, role, circumstance, and social class. We hope to condense the definition of what is conventionally female by analyzing reoccurring feminine behaviors within the context of their time. Femininity can be referred to as “the quality or nature of the female gender” (Merriam Webster). In Jane Austen 's Northanger Abbey, we can connect the traits among several female characters to gain a perspective of the roles and expectations of English women living in a privileged society during the 1800s....   [tags: Gender, Woman, Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen]

Strong Essays
1810 words (5.2 pages)

Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Essay

- Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is essentially the “coming of age” story of Catherine Morland, a sympathetic yet naïve young girl who spends some time away from home at the impressionable age of seventeen. As Catherine matures in the town of Bath and at Northanger Abbey, she learns to forgo immature childhood fantasies in favor of the solid realities of adult life, thus separating falsehood from truth. This theme is expressed in a couple of ways, most obviously when Catherine’s infatuation with Gothic novels causes her to nearly ruin her relationship with Henry Tilney: her imagination finally goes too far, and she wrongly suspects General Tilney of murdering h...   [tags: Jane Austen Northanger Abbey Essays]

Strong Essays
1599 words (4.6 pages)

Austen's Northanger Abbey and Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner Essay

- The Uncanny Works of Austen's Northanger Abbey and Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner   In order to discuss the literature of the uncanny we must first be able to define "uncanny", and trying to grasp a firm understanding of the term "uncanny" is problematic; since as accepted reference works such as the Oxford English Dictionary filter down into popular culture the meaning subtly alters, or becomes drawn towards only one aspect of what was originally a much broader definition. To illustrate this, the Oxford Complete Wordfinder, Reader's Digest (1999), defines: "uncanny adj....   [tags: Austen Northanger Abbey Essays]

Strong Essays
2431 words (6.9 pages)

Balance Between Sense and Sensibility in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

- Balance Between Sense and Sensibility in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Throughout her novel, Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen integrates parody with characterization to emphasize the necessity of a balance between sense and sensibility while reflecting a theme of the initiation of a young woman into the complexities of adult social life. This novel can be traced back as one of Jane Austen's earliest works. It was written in 1798, but not published until 1818, and is an excellent example of what Austen believed a novel should not be....   [tags: Austen Northanger Abbey Essays]

Strong Essays
2315 words (6.6 pages)

Evil Villains in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Essay

- Evil Villains in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen In Jane Austen’s, Northanger Abbey, John Thorpe and General Tilney are portrayed as unpleasant villains. Villains are defined as, “a wicked or evil person; a scoundrel” (The American Heritage Dictionary http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=VILLAIN). Austen description of both men as power-hungry, easily upset, and manipulative follows this definition. She introduces both characters in separate parts of the book, however simultaneously she delivers a stunning example of their identical villainous personalities....   [tags: Northanger Abbey Jane Austen Evil Essays]

Strong Essays
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Sympathetic Imagination in Northanger Abbey Essay

- Sympathetic Imagination in Northanger Abbey     Critics as well as the characters in the novel Northanger Abbey have noticed Catherine Morland's artlessness, and commented upon it. In this essay I have chosen to utilise the names given to Catherine's unworldliness by A. Walton Litz in Jane Austen: a Study of her Artistic Development,[1] and Christopher Gillie in A Preface to Jane Austen.[2] Litz refers to "what the eighteenth century would have called the sympathetic imagination, that faculty which promotes benevolence and generosity" (Litz, p....   [tags: Northanger Abbey]

Strong Essays
3053 words (8.7 pages)

Authenticity in Northanger Abbey Essay

- Northanger Abbey:  Authenticity         In what is for Jane Austen an uncharacteristically direct intervention, the narrator of Northanger Abbey remarks near the end: "The anxiety, which in the state of their attachment must be the portion of Henry and Catherine, and of all who loved either, as to its final event, can hardly extend, I fear, to the bosom of my readers, who will see in the tell-tale compression of the pages before them, that we are all hastening together to perfect felicity." As far as I know this is the only overt reference Austen ever makes to the material nature of her medium, and the relationship of that materiality to generic conventions....   [tags: Northanger Abbey]

Strong Essays
1529 words (4.4 pages)

Catherine Morland's Coming of Age in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Essay

- Catherine Morland's Coming of Age in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Jane Austen's intelligence and sophisticated diction made her a revolutionary author, and her mastery surpasses most modern authors. By challenging conventional stereotypes in her novels, she gives the open-minded reader a new perspective through the message she conveys. Her first novel, Northanger Abbey, focuses on reading. However, she parallels typical novel reading with the reading of people. Catherine Morland's coming of age hinges on her ability to become a better reader of both novels and people....   [tags: Northanger Abbey Essays]

Strong Essays
1527 words (4.4 pages)

Comparing Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein Essay

- When authors write a story they “tell a particular story to a particular audience in a particular situation for, presumably, a particular purpose” (Phelan 4). Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein came out in the same year, were both gothic novels, and were both written by female authors. Despite these similarities, the two authors produced very different works of fiction and have very different authorial intentions for their stories. Austen and Shelley both use gothic elements to portray their purpose for their stories....   [tags: Northanger Abbey Frankenstein Shelley]

Strong Essays
1787 words (5.1 pages)