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|GR: The real gothic story
Written by Siobhan
(4/23/2003 8:49 p.m.)
It seems to me like the real gothic story of Northanger Abbey is Eleanor's story. She is the perfect heroine - beautiful, talented, kind-hearted, she always wears white. Her mother dies young, leaving her in the care of a hard father, who does not allow her the freedom she requires. As she says to Catherine "you must have been long enough in this house to see that I am but a nominal mistress of it, that my real power is nothing."
But it is not until the very last chapter that we learn her true sorrow. Eleanor has been in love with a very worthy young man, but her father forbade her to think of him because he was poor. Thus were they cruelly separated. What should recommend him to the General and allow him to marry his beloved Eleanor but "unexpected accession to title and fortune". Eleanor is now a Vicountess! A Vicountess!! I can hear Jane laughing at us all. For Eleanor's husband is the very model of a hero: "independent of his peerage, his wealth and his attachment, being to a precision the most charming young man in the world. And further definition of his merits must be unnecessary; the most charming young man in the world is instantly before the imagination of us all."
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