Importance Of Imagination In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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Have you ever had difficulty reconciling the way you imagined something to be in your head with the reality of it? As with most people, there are several points throughout Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey where the main character, Catherine Moreland lets her imagination run wild. This often leads to disappointment, or sometimes relief, upon coming face-to-face with the reality of the situation. It can be seen at the start of the book in regards to Bath, then again with Northanger Abbey, and finally with General Tilney. Upon facing this final reality Catherine makes a maturing promise to stop letting her imagination get the better of her, thus transforming her further into an adult. As aforementioned, the first example given of Catherine’s active imagination is in chapter two when she is to leave for Bath with the Allens. Just as with many people going somewhere for the first time, Catherine is excited and yet the reality of her first outing to the Upper Rooms was not quite so grand as she had expected. Instead of socializing and dancing, she was in a very crowded room without a single person to talk to besides Mrs. Allen. While in the end Catherine would come to look fondly on Bath, it was not a match for her ideal in the beginning, or even necessarily at the end. Moving on, Catherine again falls pray to her imagination upon being invited to Northanger Abbey in chapter seven-teen. Immediately she begins to think of the Abbeys she had read about in books, and over the
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