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|NA on different levels.
Written by MandyN
(4/25/2006 11:19 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, 'gothic' (focus), penned by Reeba
Henry addresses Catherine in Ch. 24 on her idea the imprisonment or murder of a wife is the only crime a bad man can be charged with.
Henry dismantles Catherine's wild supposition about his father.
Henry is unable to disguise Eleanor's unhappiness with her father. And General Tilney does unleash his power quite brutally upon Catherine herself.
My view is NA is also a 'coming of age' novel. It operates as a parody but we shouldn't ignore the real danger Catherine experienced, already discussed on this thread.
Yet it reveals Catherine truly learns to excercise commonsense attitudes in the real world. She 'reads' the situation well and returns home safely. She is cured of imposing illusions on the real world.
My view is the first part of NA forms a Defence of the novel with a joshing of some readers, publishers and Compliers, clarified in Ch 5. There is some parody of readers-- Isabella Thorpe personifies a parody of a reader attempting to emulate a heroine so ends up making herself ridiculous.
C.L Johnson makes an interesting comment,
'It has seemed to many readers than Austen's parody in Northanger Abbey debunks gothic conventions out of an allegiance to the commonsense world of the ordinary, where life is sane and dependable, if not always pleasant. But by showing that the gothic is in factthe inside out of the ordinary, that the abbey does indeed present a disconcerting double image,..., Northanger Abbey does not refute, but rather clarifies and reclaims, gothic conventions in distinctly political ways.
C.L Johnson, 'Jane Austen. Women, Politics and the Novel', p.34
Perhaps NA is a complex admission of the gothic.
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