Throughout Northanger Abbey Catherine learns that real life is not as exciting, romantic, or black and white as the romance novels she reads. This is especially apparent in her friendship with Isabella Thorpe. She becomes immediately close to Isabella who is attractive, intelligent and socially confident, but who later emerges as the anti heroine of the novel. Isabelle appear...
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...e you must respect for her sincerity, her high principles, her generous trust of others, and her patience under trails that would be too great for much stronger heads...and in spite of her romantic folly she has so much good heart that it serves her in place of good sense” .
It seems both these critics have missed the point about Catherine, her inadequacies as a heroine, such as they are, exists because Austen tries to do too much with her – “to establish her both s a gooselike parody of the sentimental gothic heroine, and to advance claims for her as a human being who would learn good sense and learn even to go beyond it” .
Catherine is a true Austen heroine, not only because she learns to examine her own spirit, heart and mind so that she is able to mature beyond her flaws, but also because she inspires readers to develop truly heroic behaviour themselves.
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