11.07.2019 in Literature

Northanger Abbey Essay Sample

Jane Austen’s book known as Northanger Abbey is usually regarded by many readers as her first work of fiction. The book introduces Catherine Morland who was a naïve teenager that was quite uninformed and living in her own world of deception. She lived her life in a way that represented the many novels she loved to read that were mostly based on horror fiction. She had her own imagination of reality where she entailed real persons, objects and events that were characterized by terrible ideas. One important point worth noting though was the fact that her imaginative impressions that were not regarded by many as being real, in a way represented the real character describing the pretentious social behaviors of those who surrounded her. The author of this book therefore ironically brings out her story in this book in a satirical way but at the same time socially educates its readers.

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The author’s work of fiction is seen to be a true representation of the principles of the 18th century novels depicting courtship and romance. Jane describes to us of how a young woman can be introduced into a society of grown up adults and her preferences among the various choices that comes with living in such a society. The author’s imaginations is centered on gothic horror describing how the issues surrounding courtship and romance. She describes what experiences a person in love must undergo, to move from a state of confusion and ignorance to a point where she can claim to be informed. This is the point that the author describes as the ultimate place where a union can be described as consummated. 

The main character in this book is introduced into this world that the book describes at the point when she was invited by her neighbors to join them in their vacation in the English town of Bath (Austen, 10). Her neighbors were known as MR. and Mrs. Allen. In the course of their vacation Catherine comes across some clergyman going by the name of Henry Tilney and also a histrionic woman going by the name of Isabella Thorpe. This is the woman who actually influenced Catherine into the habit of reading Gothic fiction. Later on Isabella gets to meet James Morland who is Catherine’s brother and a love interest ensues and Catherine also gets to meet John Thorpe who is Isabella’s brother, described as an arrogant and conniving individual (Austen, 20).

This is therefore the point where the story then moves to Northanger Abbey that was actually Tilney’s ancestral home. This is where john managed to deceive Henry’s dad that Catherine was an heiress. Henry’s father was known as General Tilney.

The author’s imaginations starts to be evident at the point when Henry and Catherine take a drive to Abbey and Henry starts acting as the romantic heroine describing the author’s imagination love between two people. When they get to Abbey, Catherine is disappointed to find exactly the opposite of her expectations. There Catherine’s imaginations are revealed describing as not being anything out of the ordinary.

Catherine is one person that can be described as a true gothic heroine. She is not beautiful and intelligent as may seem but just an ordinary common person unlike other characters like Isabella and general Tilney.

These are the people who fit in her imagination of what the world is or rather should be like living her at a point where she finds it very difficult to distinguish between reality and the kinds of romance stories she frequently reads in various novels.

On the other side there are those characters that are portrayed as providing the balance between the deluded perspectives of Catherine’s world and the real world. For example, Henry Tilney is usually seen as the author’s mouthpiece. This is despite the fact that ones in a while she is used ironically and ridiculed. This is evident in the fact that this is a character that was not able to see that Catherine’s imaginations, despite the fact that they were excess tend to describe the true nature of human beings and events. This is because of the fact that Catherine in a world becomes the first person to actually get to know the real general Tilney who she describes as, even though not a murderer he is arrogant, cruel, rude and funny enough a mercenary. The general therefore comes out as the heroine after discovering that Catherine does not come from a financially well off family (Austen, 159). As the novel comes to an end Henry who at this point is quite enraged decides to propose to Catherine at the point where she has now been freed of her fantasy imaginations. Even after the general has been found to be a person of questionable character after being cleared of murder allegations, he still agrees to the wedding. This though is after he realizes that her daughter is engaged to a wealthy individual in the society (Austen, 160).


These ironic revelations of made in the book are exactly what really describes the author’s imaginations centered on the moral significance of the social conducts and behaviors of human beings.

This story satirically manages to come out a popular fiction. It has also managed to come out as ironically representing self-deceived imaginations that does not have a place in the real world even though could be a true representation of human morality. This story therefore opens our eyes to the realities of the environment around us that have direct influence on our lives. People should therefore live in deceptions but reality.

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