In Northanger Abbey’s protagonist, Catherine Morland, Jane Austen invented an entirely new breed of character. Strategically, the author wrote herself into the book. Austen explores the struggles of a young reader: deciphering between reality and the fictional world of novels, a struggle she has experienced firsthand. It is blatantly obvious that Catherine is a passionate reader from Austen’s repeated references to classical novels, in addition to her well-known defe...
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...ability to take them away, to another world. Yet, through Catherine, they are reminded that they leave behind reality and, at some point, they must return and distinguish between fiction and realism.
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a unique piece of literature that has earned the right to stand on its own. Through it, she strategically designed a new form of character within a new form of novel. She employs the use of her own experiences and tactically combines it with her novel characters, especially Catherine Morland, her clever narrative style and her distinctive use of gothic imagery to challenge her readers. She causes her readers to turn their judgments upon themselves, realizes that at some point in their lives, they have walked a mile in Catherine’s shoes.
Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. New York: Oxford University Press. 2003. 5-187.
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