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Written by Cheryl
(3/30/2003 12:17 a.m.)
I have not read anything in the Northanger Canon, the books which Austen is parodying. But, even if one is not familiar with the style this is easily recognizable as a parody. “Good parody always creates its own object” (Roger Gard, Jane Austen’s Novels: The Art of Clarity, p.50) We are given all we need to understand the style being parodied – the tone, and language of narrator conveys it, and narrator’s voice is very clear here, isn’t it?
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine … There was not one family among their acquaintance who had reared and supported a boy accidentally found at their door … A thousand alarming presentiments of evil to her beloved Catherine from this terrific separation must oppress her heart with sadness, and drown her in tears for the last day or two of their being together … Who would not think so? … Neither robbers nor tempests befriended them, nor one lucky overturn to introduce them to the hero …
I’ve never read these gothic books, but I come away feeling as if I have a handle on what they are about due to JA’s masterful irony. My favorite bit along these lines? "She could never learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then..." LOL!
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