Essay about Northanger Abbey: Sincerity or Selfishness

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One surrounds themselves with two kinds of people: those in which one can benefit from, and those in which one enjoys the company of. In Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey, the two types of friendships are portrayed through Catherine and Isabella. Although the two girls enjoy the company of one another, their friendship is based only on self-interest. Once arriving in Bath, Catherine’s lack of acquaintances lead her to spend most of her time with Mrs. Allen. Mrs. Allen is Catherine’s guardian in Bath. As a guardian, Mrs. Allen’s responsibility is to find acquaintances for Catherine. Instead, Mrs. Allen says she wishes she knew people in Bath to introduce Catherine to. The situation that occurs during the ball is extremely …show more content…
As the novel progresses, Catherine begins to understand Isabella’s actions and the way she treats certain people including herself. While living in Bath, Isabella meets a young man, by the name of James, in whom she is interested. Fooled by his attire and personality, Isabella mistakes him as being a man from a wealthy background. She is determined to get his attention in any way she sees fit. When Catherine was introduced to Isabella as being James’s sister, she immediately sees the opportunity to get closer to James. Isabella’s friendship with Catherine revolves around her relationship with James. She believes that if she gets close with Catherine then that would easily lead her to James. As their friendship progresses, Isabella begins using Catherine as a chaperone. This event makes it acceptable for Isabella to be seen out in society with James. It is a very uncomfortable situation for Catherine to be in as stated, “Catherine began to doubt the happiness of a situation which confining her entirely to her friend and her brother, gave her very little share in the notice of either.”(48). She feels as if she is the third wheel when she is with Isabella and James. They often go about doing what pleases them while ignoring Catherine. For instance, when Isabella and James want to go on a wagon ride they often bring Catherine along and talk about subjects that do not include her. There were many
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