Northanger Abbey Gothic Analysis

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3 Northanger Abbey and the Gothic
3.1 Process of Creation and Style of Writing
It is presumed that Austen wrote the first draft of Northanger Abbey in 1798 and the title was Susan. However, Emden suggests that the novel was actually composed in two stages. The first part describes Catherine’s stay in Bath and can be seen as a satire of sentimental novel, the second is set at Northanger Abbey and represents Gothic passages. Therefore, Emden argues that Austen wrote the first half in 1794 as a part of her juvenilia. To prove this claim he points out the similarities in characters and in style of writing. The Gothic part, on the other hand, was added in 1798. Additionally, Catherine’s character shows volatility. The Catherine from Bath would not violate good manners and would not jeopardize her good relationship with the Tilneys by breaking into the mother’s room. Emden presents some good arguments to support his theory, therefore I rather agree with it.
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The analysis provided in chapter 2 proves that “horrid” novels cannot be regarded as mere automatic copies of The Mysteries of Udolpho. However, since it is mentioned in the novel several times, most scholars acknowledge the largest influence of The Mysteries of Udolpho on Northanger Abbey. Nevertheless, I agree with Nowak’s statement that “by arbitrarily assigning responsibility for all Gothic aspects to Udolpho, the complete appreciation of its true depth and relationship with the Gothic is limited.” Therefore, Nowak is interested in the comparison of Northanger Abbey and The Orphan of the Rhine and demonstrates on several examples that this selection was not random at all. For example, the part when Henry talks about the possible mysteries which Catherine will experience at the Abbey and he mentions Dorothy. Nowak emphasizes that the main female servant in Sleath’s novel was called
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