feminist novel

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Though many of the leading female characters in Jane Austen’s novels seem to emphasize the gender stereotype of the 18th century woman, Northanger Abbey’s Catherine Moreland displays strong feminist tones. Several critics might agree that Catherine Moreland is most often described as a submissive young lady confined to society. However, coming from a society that desired their women to be mostly docile, Catherine openly expresses her opinions and moods. The dominance of her views and her ability to be able to share her thoughts straightforwardly, makes Catherine a feminist character. In an even more drastic effort, Catherine imparts onto Henry Tilney how to divert himself from societal limitations and voice his own opinions. By taking a different approach on understanding the feminist elements of Northanger Abbey, it is clear to see that Austen’s believes women are smart, independent and have ingenious competencies equivalent to their male counterparts. Many critics may only read Northanger Abbey as a parody of the endangerments of a hyperactive imagination of a mindless young woman, but a careful reading of the passages displays the intelligence instilled in the unlikely heroine. Although Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is not outwardly represented as a feminist novel, by portraying Catherine and the other characters in a satirical way, Austen is able to question the stereotypes of women in literature.
Catherine’s independence reveals itself immediately in novel when Austen begins to paint her main character in a way that would not describe a typical heroine. “Catherine was fond of all boy’s plays, and greatly preferred cricket to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a ro...

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...he women permits the audience to recognize that the author is portraying the matter of feminism in a mocking manner. Austen uses a witty sense of humor to reveal to her audience that she is attacking the issue of feminism in an unordinary way, but at the same time establishes to her readers that she holds strong feminist ideals.
Critics such as Joanne Cordon have stated. “Northanger Abbey’s narrator uses her familiarity with narrative form as she mocks the grandiose behavior of its female characters who would react to an affront with silence, avoidance, or flirtation as a form of revenge” (Cordon 46). Jane Austen criticizes the traditional societal roles for women as she displays her own skills to avoid such overbearing standards. In Austen’s writing, she uses the term heroine to define types of actions that are in actuality pretentious, conventional and delusive.
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