In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey Is A Bildungsroman

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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 excerpt, 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 excerpt within the novel’s wider themes.

Austen creates bathos by
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Catherine realises the oppression under which Eleanor lives, as fantasy, gives way to cruelty, Ultimately, the General’s disregard for Catherine’s safety, and welfare,’ especially on a Sunday and to a clergyman’s daughter with no money’ (AA316, CD2,) acts as an epiphany for Austen’s Bildungsroman as Catherine comes of age, and awakens to the reality of the General’s totalitarianism.
The excerpt denotes motif in Austen’s didactic novel, and depicts the moral lesson of self-awareness. Hence, Catherine realises that she has been not only insulted, but endangered, as she is not a woman of property. The connection between wealth and her physical security becomes frighteningly apparent. Through Catherine, Austen not only points out the assumptions and incongruities of the Gothic novel, but also makes Catherine the focal point of one of the novel 's main concerns: growing up. In the process of maturity, Catherine trades in her faulty assumptions and her dubious judgment for a more rational and experienced attitude, and trades in her captivating reading habits for actually living in
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