Essay about Evil Villains in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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Evil Villains in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

In Jane Austen’s, Northanger Abbey, John Thorpe and General Tilney are portrayed as unpleasant villains. Villains are defined as, “a wicked or evil person; a scoundrel” (The American Heritage Dictionary http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=VILLAIN). Austen description of both men as power-hungry, easily upset, and manipulative follows this definition. She introduces both characters in separate parts of the book, however simultaneously she delivers a stunning example of their identical villainous personalities. Through the portrayal of John Thorpe and General Tilney as villains, Austen comments on the male supremacy that permeates through her time. In the first half of the
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Much to Catherine’s pleasure, she has a walk scheduled with her sweetheart, Henry Tilney, and her dearest friend, Eleanor Tilney. However, on the morning of the walk, it rains. Austen uses the rain to foreshadow the upcoming unpleasant events. In the afternoon, the rain subsides leaving a muddy mess. Unexpectedly, Isabella Thorpe, John Thorpe, and James Morland arrive at her house. They request that Catherine go along on their trip to neighboring cites. However, Catherine feels obligated to stay in the house and await Henry Tilney and Eleanor Tilney. In his typical self-centered manner, John Thorpe declares that he saw Tilney engaging in other activities, “I saw him at that moment turn up the Lansdown Road, - driving a smart-looking girl” (Austen 53). Although perplexed as to why the Tilneys did not send word that their engagement should be broken, she consents to the proposed carriage ride. While riding out of her neighborhood, Catherine spots Eleanor and Henry Tilney walking towards her house. Catherine, exclaims, “Pray, pray stop, Mr. Thorpe. - I cannot go on. - I will not go on. - I must go back to Miss Tilney.” (Austen 54). John Thorpe disregarding Catherine’s plea, “laughed, smacked his whip, encouraged his horse, made odd noises, and drove on” (Austen 54). During this scene, Austen magnifies the villainy of John Thorpe by whisking away with innocent Catherine. After developing John
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