Blog Post #2 Satirical Mocking of Art Mediums for social & literary commentary and the breaking of the 4th wall.

In Northanger abbey, near the beginning of the book, there is a point where the discussion of Novels, as well as their ill effects on the public are discussed. ‘I am no novel reader–I seldom look into novels–Do not imagine that I often read novels –It is really very well for a novel.’–Such is the common cant.–‘And what are you reading, Miss—–?’ ‘Oh! it is only a novel!” replies the young lady; when she lays down her book with affected indifference or momentary shame.–‘It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda;’ or in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough rough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.” (Chapter 5 pg. 25) Along with this, her discussion with one individual where he talks about how he doesn’t read certain works, only to find out they are written by an artist he admires. This entire segment of the story reminded me of the commonly seen meta-jokes seen within animation, where the characters of the story will break the 4th wall or make a commentary on their own works. This includes mocking fan artwork, showing animators drawing them, or even when Chowder completely switched over from animation into filming the voice actors.

For me, who has always enjoyed breaking of the 4th wall and social commentary, I found Northanger Abbeys satire on novels to be very funny. Along with this, it seems that satire is, at this point, more viewed than the source material, with entire TV channels showing almost nothing but satire, such as Adult Swim.

In conclusion, the satire found in the novel is very similar to the satire we see today, and gives us a glimpse into the history of satirical novelization from such a distant piece of history. As an avid enjoyed of this medium, I can only hope it will continue, and not be shut down by critics, like the individuals we saw in Northanger Abbey.

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