Northanger Abby: Catherine As An Outsider 

I believe that Catherine is an outsider in the world she’s growing up in.  She doesn’t fit in with the other people around her, nor does she act or behave like them.  When she tries to change into the person everyone wants her to be, the person she is not, Catherine fails miserably because she wasn’t made to be like everyone else.  Instead, Catherine was born to stand out.   

Catherine’s family and friends force her to fit into the social mold that they think is ideal for a young woman of her age, to be an identical copy like all the rest of the world.  But Catherine is unique.  She’s her own person and should be able make her own decisions about her own life.  And to decide if the person she has become, is the person that Catherine wants to be for the rest of her life.   

In the beginning of the story, Catherine starts off as a tomboy fond of boy’s play.  She was very kind with a good heart, stubborn as a bull, noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing more in this world than rolling down the green slope at the back of her house.  This was back when Catherine was the happiest in her life, when no one expected anything from her, and she was free to be herself.  But once Catherine got old enough, her family and friends started taking away her happiest and changing her into the obedient young woman with excellent manners.  They took away her personality, her hobbies, her thoughts and emotions, everything that made her who she was.  Catherine was no long free to be herself.  Instead, Catherine was imprisoned in her own life by those she trusted and loved.   

In the middle of the story, Catherine is tricked into going for a ride with Mr. John Thorpe who lies to her about the Tilney’s whereabouts.  When Catherine realizes what John has done, she politely asks him to stop the carriage, but he refuses.  Catherine yells and screams for him to stop the carriage, but John only replies, “a woman shouldn’t think or speak unless a man tells them to do so.  They should stay quiet and obey their man like a good woman would do because a woman like you belongs in the kitchen, cooking my meals, cleaning the house, and raising our children like a good wife should.  So, don’t disobey those who can give you a good life, otherwise you’ll be punished.”  Catherine’s being told what to do by those who want to enslave her.  By those who want her to sit by and do nothing while others are being treated the same way as her.  John and the others may have taken Catherine’s voice to speak out for the truth, for those who don’t have a voice, for what is right, but they haven’t silenced her for good yet.  Catherine’s will to be free, burns like a fire in her heart.  She will not submit anymore to those who plague the world.      

This story shows how some people are treated differently from all the rest in the world.  People who cry out for help and us as a nation, do nothing about it, nothing to save them.  It just shows how far they’ve fallen as an intelligence species.  How they’ve become so unfaithful to those who’ve put us here and gave us life.  It makes Catherine ashamed to be associated with people who would treat others like they were nothing just like they did to her.  Catherine would rather be an outsider and stand alone with the underdogs than be liked and a bully with the tyrants. 

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