Catherine Morland In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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It has become far too easy to get away with judging a book by its cover. Due to social media and the internet, young people have been conditioned to gather a few choice facts about someone, and to subsequently categorize their worth in terms of those few, warped characteristics online, rather than take the time to know a person’s spirit before judging them. In this passage from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, the character of Catherine Morland is introduced. Austen uses literary techniques such as ugly diction, the inclusion of specific details, and a shift in tone to characterize Catherine as being a person who, in spite of her abundance of shortcomings, has an authentically good spirit, and is therefore lovable and valuable. The first aspect of Catherine that is described is also the first aspect of her that anyone would notice: her physique. She is revealed as being lacklustre in terms of beauty. Austin describes her as “plain”. It is possible that a person can be plain but also beautiful, in a simple way, but it is important to note that this is not the case with Catherine. In addition to being plain, she is described as having “sallow skin without color” and “a thin awkward figure”. This establishes that she is the opposite of…show more content…
In doing so, Austen showed that a person can be inadequate in all aspects besides those of spirit and still be worthy, valuable, and loved. There is a larger lesson underneath all this context, and it has to do with the qualities of joy and virtue. Catherine, with all her inadequacies, is proof that one does not need to be pious or attentive in order to achieve goodness and happiness, because goodness and happiness are intrinsic. Inner peace is not a collateral result of other qualities. It is obtained individually, throughout wholesome authenticity, even when life seems to indicate
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