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Northanger Abbey
Cover of the novel
Cover of the novel
by Jane Austen


Summary


From the very beginning we are introduced to Catherine Morland, the heroine of the story. The narrator tells us, that in her youth, she was a tomboy, nothing special. At seventeen, she loves to read books. She gets lost in them. Her favorite to read are Gothic novels.

The Allens are a couple who are family friends of the Morlands. They invite Catherine to the town of Bath. Bath is basically like a summer resort for wealthy people. Here is where the first half of the story is going to take place. Once in Bath, the Allens and Catherine go to a ball. Mrs. Allen and Catherine keep to themselves because they do not know anyone. They look kind of awkward by themselves.

At another ball, the next day, Catherine meets Henry Tilney. He is from a family of Clergymen and is wealthy, unlike Catherine. They dance and make small talk. Catherine starts to think of Henry a lot.

Mrs. Allen meets an old acquaintance whose name is Mrs. Thorpe. Catherine meets Isabella, Mrs. Thorpe’s daughter, and they become quick best friends. Their Friendship starts to grow and they discover that they both love to read and they swap book ideas. Isabella seems to think of herself as superior to Catherine
Catherine and Eleanor
Catherine and Eleanor

James Morland, Catherine’s brother, and John Thorpe, Isabella’s brother join them. James seems interested in Isabella and John in Catherine. Catherine doesn’t seem to have strong feelings back but does accept his offer to dance. At the next ball, Catherine goes with John. Once there though he runs off to play cards. While waiting for his return, Henry Tilney shows up with his little sister, Eleanor. Catherine has to return all invitation to dance, but dances with John when he shows up. After the dance, Catherine has lost all interest in John.

At this time, Catherine is obsessing over Henry. She is really falling for him. Catherine gets to know Eleanor and mistakenly reveals that she has a crush on Henry without noticing it. The next day, James, John, Isabella, and Catherine go to visit a castle, although Catherine would rather be with Eleanor and Henry, as they had planned.

Henry and Eleanor are angry with her for not following through with plans. They forgive her though and make small talk at their place. Henry’s father seems to really like Catherine. John, James and Isabella really want Catherine to go visit the castle again. This time she refuses to go so she can spend some time with Henry and Eleanor, though she feels guilty. They spend some time at the Tilney’s place and when she returns home Mrs. Allen says that she doesn’t like the idea of Catherine seeing John anymore.

Henry and Catherine find out how different their preferences in books are as they go for a walk. This makes her feel a little uneasy. The next day, Isabella and Catherine’s brother get engaged. Isabella and her family worry about Catherine’s family’s consent because they are poorer than the Morlands. It doesn’t end up being a problem. John leaves town a little later, Isabella says that he left thinking that Catherine wishes to marry him.
A Ball in Bath
A Ball in Bath

Catherine has dinner with the Tilney family. It is a restrained atmosphere. Catherine can not figure why because everyone seems nice. Later, at a ball, Frederick Tilney and Isabella flirt, even though Isabella is newly engaged. Isabella finds out she can’t marry James for three years. She is upset over the news.
Catherine really has fallen for Henry and wants to marry him someday. The General asks Catherine to come back to Northanger abbey with them. She agrees to go. Before she leaves, Isabella tells Catherine that John plans to propose to her.
James starts to feel bad when it becomes obvious that Isabella is obviously flirting with Frederick. Catherine becomes concerned for everyone in the love triangle. She asks Henry to talk to his brother, but he refuses to and says to let everything be.
When Catherine prepares to leaves with the Tilney’s she notices how scary the General can be to his kids. Catherine rides with Henry a part of the way; they have a discussion about how eager Catherine is to see the abbey. The abbey is modern, which disappoints Catherine. Henry does not live with his family, instead he lives on his own about fifteen miles away.
At the breakfast table, Henry and Catherine make small talk till the General makes a hint about marriage to his son. Catherine notices that the General and Eleanor talks funny about the dead Mrs. Tilney.
Catherine's Imagination
Catherine's Imagination

Catherine’s imagine run amuck. She starts to think that maybe the General killed his wife who supposively died from an illness suddenly. Catherine can not get over his suspicions that the General killed his wife. She starts to become paranoid and wants to see the dead lady’s room. Once she achieves it she notices nothing remarkable about the room. On her way back, Henry catches her. He tells her that his mother did die from an illness and is not so nice to her. This makes her cry.
At dinner, Henry is the same as ever. Catherine realizes that she had let her brain wander and blames it on the books she read. That same, Catherine gets a letter from James saying that the engagement is off. Henry guesses this. He thinks the Isabella is going to marry Frederick for money. Catherine isn’t to upset.
Catherine, Eleanor and the General visit Henry at his place, It seems like a nice place. The general makes it obvious that he wants his son to marry Catherine. Catherine gets a letter from Isabella saying that Frederick didn’t want to marry her and she wants help getting James back. Catherine says no.
After Catherine has been at Northanger Abbey for a month, she must leave immediately. She does not say goodbye to Henry because he is at his house at the time. Catherine can not see what she did to piss off the General and she sulks a lot. Mrs. Morland and Catherine visit Mrs. Allen.
Henry shows up out of nowhere. He proposes to Catherine who in return accepts. After, he explains what happened with the General. The General had spoken to John in Bath and was told she is wealthy. He found out she wasn’t and sent her away. Henry found out and got angry.
The Morlands allow the marriage if only the General gives his consent. They think this will take time. Eleanor marries a wealthy noble which put her father in a good mood. Eleanor asks him to allow his brother’s marriage. He agrees.
Henry and Catherine
Henry and Catherine




Characters
Catherine Morland Catherine is the main character and is the protagonist at 17 years old. It is said a few times during the novel that says that she is not very remarkable. She is obsessed with reading and enjoys gothic novels the most. As a person, she wants what is best for other people and is sometimes confused about what it is. Catherine has a hard time reading people and is very nieve. She is a little immature and sometimes can not tell the difference between reality and make believe. This book is the story of her growing upand finding herself. She has a crush on Henry Tilney.
Catherine as she is portrayed int he movie
Catherine as she is portrayed int he movie

Henry Tilney Henry is the picture of a perfect gentleman. He is 26 years old. He also falls for Catherine. He is smooth, knowing what to say at all the right times. He also seems to have a lot of pride, but in a good way, not a cocky way. He seems to be very well-educate and to be mature
Henry Tilney as portrayed in the movie
Henry Tilney as portrayed in the movie

Eleanor Tilney
Eleanor is the younger sister of Henry. She is said to be around Catherine's age. Just like her older brother, she enjoys reading. She is on the shy side, but was quick to be best friends with Catherine.
eleanor Tilney as portrayed in the movie
eleanor Tilney as portrayed in the movie

General Tilney
General Tilney wasn't the nicest person. He is the father of Henry, eleanor and Frederick. He seems like a very superficial person. He loves money and living it big. He only wants the company of rich people. He also enjoys flaunting his money and wealth to get attention
General Tilney as portrayed in the movie
General Tilney as portrayed in the movie

Isabella Thorpe Isabella was Catehrine's first friend in Bath and best friend for the first half of the novel. She had a romantic interest in both Catherine's brother and Henry's. She runs on self greed and only thinks of herself. She loves gossip and flirting with men. She also was not a very good friend to Catherine. John Thorpe John is the bad guy. He has a romantic interest in Catherine who has no feelings back. He is arrogant and self obsorbed.
Isabella as portrayed in the movie
Isabella as portrayed in the movie






Setting


There are two settings in this book which takes place in the late 1700's in England:
1.) Bath.

Bath is the resort of the weathly. This is where Catherine does not exactly fit in. There are balls everyday and everyone acts fancy. The feel in the air is sometimes relaxed and sometimes constraint. Overal though, it is somewhere enjoyable to be and you are there to have fun and spend time with famiyl and friends.
Bath, England
Bath, England

2.) Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey is a very big building where the Tilney's reside. Abbey's are famous for supposedly being haunted. This is where Catherine dreamed of going because she oves to read Gothic novels. when she arrives, she feels as if she is let down. Although, the place is very big and someone feels like that they are in a place where they can have friends and relax. There is another scarier side though. Because it is so old means that it has a history.
An Abbey
An Abbey





Conflict


The biggest conflict in this book is within Catherine. Catherine needs to grow up and needed to be able to understand people and to be mature. She achieves this in the book. She goes form being a nieve little girl to being a mature young adult. The main obstacle that helps her is when she gets lost in her imagination and thinks that the General killed his wife. This was false, when she sat and thought about it, she realized that she had to leave her imaginary world behind and go somewhere that she can make a connection and impress her future husband.




Literary Devices



  1. Irony Isabella kept on saying that she would never let a man fool her, so she set out to make that not possible. At the end, two men fooled her at once.
  2. Forshadowing Catherine has a lot of imagining in the book. all of her thoughts are a foreshadow to when her imagining leads to her almost loosing everything,
  3. Symbolism everything in this book has some sort of symbolism. Catherine's books symbolize an imaginary world of youth. The modern Abbey symbolizes Catherine growing up and realizing that things change. Bath symbolzies the awkward Catherine that needs to grow up.
  4. Climax I feel there are two clomaxes in this novel. If you are reading thiss book to see the lesson it teaches us and to learn from it, the climax is where Catherine finds out that she needs to stop letting her imagination go and grow up a bit. If you are reading this book for the purpose of reading a goodlove story, the part where the General makes Catherine leave would be the climax.





Biography


Jane Austen was born on December 16th, 1775 in England. She is one of eight kids and had a tight family. She had a good education when growing up and went to boarding school. Her father and the library is what made Austen fall in love with writing. Her father taught her everything he knew about literature. At frist, she kept all her work in notebooks. She fell in love with a neighbor, but was unable to marry him because she was not wealthy enough. Her father read a story of hers called First impressions (Pride and Prejudice) and when he tried to get it published, he failed. For al ittle bit of time, Austen's book, Susan's (northanger Abbey) copywright was held by a publisher who refused to put it out on the market. Sense and Sensibility was Austen's first work to be published in 1811. On July 18th, 1817, Jane Austen died. She brought several book ideas and endings to the grave with her. Austen's sister and brother helped get Northanger Abbey and Persuasion published after her death.

Jane Austen
Jane Austen



Literary Criticism

The Literary Criticism for Northanger Abbey goes two ways. They either think this novel is genius or that it needs work. People think that it is genius because it makes its point very well. They think that when it comes down to it, this novel makes its point very well. Other's think that it needs more work because this kind of work is not normal for Austen. She was out of her comfort zone. She was trying to make some stuff comical but was not successful and stuff like that.




Personal Review


Would I recommend this book? It depends to who. If it was someone who could appreciate a book and loves to read them, yes. i feel those are the kind of people that can take a book liek this and really appreciate it. For someone who barely reads or reads just what is in style, then no. They would probably be a lttle bored because it is a lttle slow. I enjoyed reading this book. Sometimes I could put it down and others I couldn't. I liked how some of the key points are still alive today. For example, that best friend who uses you and doesn't appreciate you or have a crush on an impossible boy. I also enjoyed the little surprises in the book and how smooth everything went along.