Northanger Abbey

I had a lot of fun reading Northanger Abbey. Before reading this, I had never read any Jane Austen books, so I had no idea what the expect. I didn’t even know about this story; the only book by Austen I had ever heard about was Pride and Prejudice. But overall, I really enjoyed the story.

Catherine was the character that really stuck out to me; not only because she’s the main character, but because of her backstory and personality. It’s mentioned in the beginning of the book that Catherine was very much a tomboy in her youth. Obviously, she isn’t so much of one when the story begins. So why the change? I feel like in older stories such as this one, a girl who is a tomboy stays a tomboy. It was the author’s way of sort of breaking the status quo with a female character who is typically supposed to be really proper and ladylike. I’m not quite sure what Jane Austen’s intention with that change was, but it intrigued me nonetheless.

Another thing about Catherine that really interested me was Catherine’s inability to read people. Actually, just her inability to really socialize properly around people as well. It takes her a hell of a long time to finally see that Isabella wasn’t the person she portrayed herself to be. Her general awkwardness around Henry Tilney and John Thorpe led her into a lot of situations that could have been easily avoided if she was just a little more socially adequate. Honestly, this was probably a result of what I think was called “Book Fever”. Long before smart phones, tablets, and TV’s, books were all the craze with kids and young adults. All they would do was read. It would lead them to miss out on social milestones, and eventually they just wouldn’t understand how to pick up on social cues. I think that, in a way, Jane Austen in pushing that reading craze onto Catherine. It’s talked about a few times how much Catherine reads. She just read so much throughout the years that the social cues in the story were never picked up on by her, and that just lead to a lot of problems for her.

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