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Book Report: Northanger Abbey

679 words - 3 pages

Book Report: “Northanger Abbey”, By Jane Austen

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in a village called Steventon in Hampshire. Jane’s personal life and how she spent her time growing up has a big influence on her main characters, especially the female ones. It is known that Jane loved to talk long walks around Hampshire and to read book, this is portrayed in most of her female characters, notably Catherine Morland and Elizabeth Bennet. Around 1801 Jane Austen was forced to move to Bath, a move which she resented and fought, this could lead to the portrayal of Bath in her works. Northanger Abbey was published after Jane’s death, however it is said to be the first one she wrote.
Northanger Abbey was sent to a publisher in 1803 but never published. It was revised and then published towards the end of 1817; however it is dated to have been published in 1818. It is a relatively short book consisting of only 177 pages.
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Catherine Morland is the main protagonist in this novel, we follow her as she moves from her own home to Bath and finally to Northanger Abbey. Catherine is a very naïve person; she constantly confuses herself due to her naïveté. Nonetheless Catherine is considered an intelligent person and learns from her mistakes, she is also considered to be relativity witty and on-the-ball. Her strongest traits are her caring nature and her ability to learn from the mistakes she makes.
Henry Tilney is a 26-year-old from a small village called Woodston. He is intelligent, well-tempered. He is very well read, and enjoys novels as much as history books. He is good natured, but has a cynical view of human behavior. He “puts up” with Catherine’s naïveté and helps her, he doesn’t take advantage of her as he easily could.
Eleanor Tilney is Henry’s younger sister; Eleanor is a shy, quiet young woman. She shares an interest in reading with her brother. Eleanor is often the blunt of the somewhat tyrannical behavior of her father, General Tilney.

Isabella Thorpe is Catherine's best friend for the first half of the novel. Isabella is attractive and very spirited, but like her mother, she is a gossip and often concerned with superficial things. She enjoys flirting with many young men, which bothers the more reserved Catherine.
Love & Marriage appears constantly throughout Northanger Abbey. Most of the novel is about the different relationships present throughout the course of the story. The scenario in Northanger Abbey is similar to that in Pride and Prejudice, the main protagonist turns down a relationship as she doesn’t love the person; Elizabeth turns down Mr. Collins’s proposal on the grounds that she feels no love for him and she thinks that you should marry for love and not for social security. Likewise in Northanger Abbey, Catherine has no relationship with John Thorpe as he is conceited, arrogant and is known to talk incessantly but not to listen; it is his arrogance that drives Catherine away. The other main characters have relationships that also aren’t very successful , Isabella, who is known to be a bit of a flirt loses her fiancé James and her fling Frederick.

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