Anne Radcliff's The Mysteries Of Northanger Abbey

Decent Essays
Catherine is a very imaginative girl who creates stories and fantasies in her head. She was described in the beginning of the novel as having a hard time learning yet as she got older she became an avid reader. She loves to read Gothic novels and her favorite novel is Anne Radcliff’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. As many of you know Northanger Abbey is a parody of The Mysteries of Udolpho. Radcliff was the most famous woman author of Gothic novels at the time. The Gothic novels were thought to be for a lower class because of their gore and horror. In Chapter five Austen gives a defense of reading novels and not letting reviewers influence the readers. Austen has the narrator speak directly to the reader in order to get her stance across.
In the
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Catherine grew up as a tomboy yet she eventually became a lover of reading. Her love of reading colors her perception of the world and so she has an overactive imagination that runs away from her sometimes. Catherine believes that she is a heroine because she reads so much and so she imagines that she is the heroine in her own novel.
When Catherine is staying at Northanger Abbey she believes she is in her own novel because she thinks that General Tilney had a hand in Mrs. Tilney’s death. Austen brought the Gothic elements of mystery and setting to Northanger Abbey, where they were not present in the first half of the novel set in Bath. The castle is dark, ominous and shrouded in mystery. The Gothic elements seem to make Catherine’s imagination run away from her and she starts overthinking the circumstances and so she does not see what is actually happening in front of her. She acts like she is a heroine in one of the novels she reads yet she is too naïve about what is happening around her that she does not notice. She doesn’t seem to be able to read a person very well and she is oblivious to information and emotions of
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It refers back to the good versus evil theme. Antonia, Virginia and Agnes are all morally good whereas Matilda is evil. Austen juxtaposes different genre conventions within her novel but blends them into a domestic gothic novel. Austen uses this genre to express different societal and sexual threats that young women face within society. Catherine is a passive character and she is ignorant towards the threats because she is so naïve. Austen wrote, “ But Mrs. Morland knew so little of lords and baronets, that she entertained no notion of their general mischievousness, and was wholly unsuspicious of danger to her daughter from their machinations”. This is a very naïve because everyone knows that Catherine will be subjected to these types of men in society, such as John Thorpe. Catherine was not prepared for the real world and so she was ignorant to how life actually
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