Analysis Of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a Bildungsroman, a coming of age story that focuses on the psychological development of the protagonist, Catherine Morland. This essay will analyse the language and narrative techniques of the extract, and discuss how it suggests vicissitudes in Catherine’s personal perspectives and relationships. In addition, it will discuss the ‘domestic gothic’ and abuse ubiquitous in ordinary situations. Furthermore, it will argue how Austen’s rhetorical techniques work to encourage reader interest as well as exercising perception when distinguishing between appearance and reality. Finally, it will conclude by briefly discussing the significance of the extract within the novel’s wider themes.
Austen creates bathos, by using subtle causticness and parody, and intertextually burlesquing, influential sensationalist and sentimental novels of the time, particularly Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). Essentially, by writing in this style, Austen emphasises the ordinariness, patriarchal abuse, and general oppression of women that was present then in everyday domestic life (Realisms, p. 59).
These subtle narrative techniques, were key elements Austen used to modify public perception of the novel’s expectations, which conveys the concept of

‘reading’ itself, and defines the novel as a genre. Principally, by writing in this style, Austen increases the reader’s interest, defining Northanger Abbey, as not only an ironic disclosure of satire, but a
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