Catherine Morland 's Coming Of Age Essay

1514 Words Nov 27th, 2016 7 Pages
Catherine Morland 's Coming of Age in Jane Austen 's Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen 's intelligence and challenging diction made her a known author, and her mastery surpasses most modern authors. By challenging conventional stereotypes in her novels, she gives the open-minded reader a new perspective through the message she conveys. Her first novel, Northanger Abbey, focuses on reading. However, she parallels typical novel reading with the reading of people. Catherine Morland 's coming of age hinges on her ability to become a better reader of both novels and people.
Austen first introduces Catherine as an unlikely heroine: "No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be a heroine" (13). This is the introductory line of Austen 's first book, giving the reader the responsibility to realize this is a novel by stating Catherine 's heroism. This is important for the reader to understand because Catherine, who loves to read fiction, considers herself to be a heroine in a gothic novel. Therefore, this sets the tone of the story as the reader recognizes the metaphorical gap between the ideal fictional heroine and the flawed Catherine Morland.
The modern reader must be aware that, at this point in literary history, the novel was looked down upon as an inferior form of literature, particularly because of the grim and sensational content of gothic novels. Therefore, Austen finds it necessary to argue the vital importance of the novel: "Oh!…

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