Northanger Abbey Analysis

1135 Words5 Pages
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a Bildungsroman, a coming of age story that focuses on the psychological development of the protagonist, Catherine Morland. This essay will analyse the language and narrative techniques of the extract, and discuss how this excerpt suggests vicissitudes in Catherine’s personal perspectives and relationships. In addition, it will discuss the ‘domestic gothic’ and abuse ubiquitous in ordinary situations. Furthermore, it will argue how Austen’s rhetorical techniques work to encourage reader interest as well as exercising perception when distinguishing between appearance and reality. Finally, it will conclude by briefly discussing the significance of the extract within the novel’s wider themes. Austen intertextually…show more content…
Essentially, by writing in this style, Austen emphasises the ordinariness, patriarchal abuse, and general oppression of women that was present then in everyday domestic life (Realisms, p. 59). The narrative style and techniques were key elements Austen used to modify public perception of the novel’s expectations which ultimately conveys the concept of ‘reading’ itself, whilst also defining the novel as a genre. Principally, by writing in this style, Austen increases the reader’s interest, defining Northanger Abbey, as not only an ironic disclosure of satire, but a sophisticated novel on social education. Characterisation and imagery is ubiquitous in the novel. Austen paints a believable picture of the protagonist Catherine, who is an ordinary, gullible, naïve young girl, and not the typical axiomatic gothic heroine. Stereotypically, Catherine’s mistaken impressions, are clouded by Gothic sentiment as she becomes absorbed with the metonymical language and melodramatic events of these fantasised novels. Thus, Catherine finds it difficult to differentiate between the fictitious world and reality, and concocts a skewered version of realism, infusing real people, and events with terrible…show more content…
It also exposes his controlling obsession with timekeeping, ‘Tomorrow morning is fixed for your leaving us, and not even the hour is left to your choice, the very carriage is ordered, and will be here at seven o’clock.’(Austen, 2008, pp.164–167) The important crux of the novel is Catherine’s awakening not only to her own naivety, but to the oppression under which Eleanor lives, as fantasy, gives way to cruelty, as Eleanor states; ‘After courting you from the protection of real friends to this – almost double distance from your home, to have you driven out of the house, without the considerations even of decent civility…..’ (Austen, 2008, pp.164–167) Ultimately, the General’s disregard for Catherine’s safety, and welfare,’ especially on a Sunday and to a clergyman’s daughter with no money’ (AA316, CD2,) acts as an epiphany for Austen’s Bildungsroman as Catherine comes of age, and she contextualises the General’s totalitarianism, which she now understands is cruel, and

More about Northanger Abbey Analysis

Open Document