Northanger Abbey--Gothic Novel or Parody?
Posted by J.L. on September 08, 1998 at 18:44:58:
In response to Northanger Abbey, written by Chael on September 08, 1998 at 00:25:05
] Maybe you can answer this question for me -- Is Northanger Abbey considered a Gothic novel? When I read it, it seemed that it was poking fun at the genre, so I was not sure.
I haven't gotten there yet, but from what I've read of it, Northanger Abbey is considered gothic because of the elements of the gothic style which JA incorporated into her text: i.e., the use of unexplainable phenomena not only for dramatic effect, but also for foreshadowing. I can't comment beyond what I've read in critical essays, since I've obviously not gotten there yet (I have to finish Udolpho by Monday, and it's about 700 pages of 9-point type). However, I have read that she wrote NA as a parody of the gothic style and genre, and did so because everyone read these books during her time, including Jane Austen herself. In one essay that I read on the book, the essayist says that the novel's heroine is "a girl who has read too many gothic novels, and so she believes that what she reads is really happening to her." (this is paraphrased from what I can remember) If so, I could potentially consider this a step backwards for JA, since her heroines are all very headstrong and independent, and the typical gothic heroine (from what I've encountered so far) is nothing more that an updated damsel in distress. When I finally get to read it, I'll hopefully be able to offer you a better insight into it.
- not JA's best... Chael 20:12:24 9/10/98 (8)
- Time NA was written Olivia Ann 17:13:19 9/14/98 (0)
- Catherine KathleenB 13:09:57 9/13/98 (6)
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