Analysis Of Feminine Identity In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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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. Because characters Catherine, Isabella, and Eleanor share similar experiences we can compare their femininities to identify specific characteristics among women. Although appearance, proper behavior, and status seems to be the desirable attributes of women, Catherine the female protagonist, is…show more content…
More specifically, women who were privileged, educated, and belonged to the higher class. As an example of young women, “Catherine 's enthusiasm for romantic novels is by no means a personal idiosyncrasy to be removed by education; she is at the crest of the wave of public taste-especially for girls of her age and class.” (662) (Socialization of Catherine Morland). Reading became a popular interests of young women, however, comparing Catherine as the novel 's heroine considers feminine traits,desires, and interests were changing. Women no longer identify with female hero 's that are whimsical, instead they enjoy feminine hero 's to be challenged, opinionated, and intelligent. According to Waldo Glock Austen 's “most significant function of the parody element is to suggest that the romantic and sentimental type of heroine is no longer relevant for the nineteenth century” (37
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