Theme Of Reality In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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In Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Catherine experiences many influential moments that transition her from being a girl to a woman by learning to face reality instead of remaining caught up in the fantasy worlds that she reads about. At the beginning of the book, Catherine lists several fragments of readings that she has incorporated into her own life, one being “From Pope, she learnt to censure those who ‘bear about the mockery of woe’” (17). The strand of selected quotes from various poems and stories highlights how Catherine uses fictional stories to shape her own life. Because her life is uneventful, she lives vicariously through books lets her imagination run free with the stories in them. She creates her own reality with these works of fiction, which puts a barrier between her and actual reality. She ends the list of quotes by saying “That a young woman in love always looks “like Patience on a monument ‘Smiling at Grief’” (18). This portrays Catherine’s tendency to shape the words to her liking, regardless of what the actual meaning is behind the text. She shows a lack of understanding of the metaphors and language, yet she simultaneously over thinks the work by taking it and applying it to her own life. This creates a superficial image for her character because she picks out only the parts of books that she likes without taking into consideration the surrounding text and deeper meaning, as she does throughout the book. In the Part II, Catherine discovers a large
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