Portrait of Jane Austen

Portrait of Jane Austen
Noel Collection Duyckinick, Evert A. Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America. New York: Johnson, Wilson & Company, 1873.
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Critics and Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey, as a parody, is oftentimes seen as a lesser novel when compared to Austen's other works. However, Northanger Abbey includes various types of narration, deep psychological investigation, and still manages to be a telling parody of the Gothic genre.
Northanger Abbey is also seen as didactic novel. Austen not only teaches young ladies what to live like, but she also shows authors and readers alike what a genuinely good book is made of.
Austen also employees free indirect speech, which incorporates several different perspectives into one narrative. This allows for an interesting relationship between the reader, characters, and narrators.
In Northanger Abbey, Austen specifically parodies Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, a stock novel in the Gothic genre. Her main character, Catherine Morland, is the exact opposite of the Gothic heroine; she is ugly, boring, and has trouble attracting a man. Catherine also finds herself in situations that are decidedly normal and plain, but she believes are truly supernatural. In these ways, Austen parodies the Gothic genre, but manages to create a unique novel.

3 comments:

AdamSmithAcademy.org said...

There is an "Audio-Text" version of N0rthanger Abbey at the Adam Smith Academy site:
http://www.adamsmithacademy.org/etext/Jane_Austen/Northanger_Abbey_Chp_1.html

Here students, parents, or just readers who love great books, can read and listen to the novel. Also, we have included a wonderful feature, where you can click on any word within the text to get its definition.

Let us know what you think...

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

Lauren Highton said...

Catherine isn't ugly and she doesn't have trouble attracting a man. Indeed, Austen talks of how Catherine bloomed from a plain child into a pretty woman, in the first pages of the novel. She also turns the heads of a fair few men in Bath.
As to her being a bit boring, I have to agree.