The Seventeenth-Century Gothic Novel In Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

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The seventeenth-century Gothic novel is associated with the combination of the supernatural realm and Romanticism. Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey, is an attempt to critique the seventeenth-century Gothic novel by identifying Catherine’s sensibility through her over fascination and addiction to reading—such as Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. Austen utilizes Catherine’s obsession with novels as a means to highlight how such fascination has caused Catherine to become naïve and unaware of the real world. Moreover, due to the historical timeframe, females are perceived as incapable of writing on the same stature as men and should work within their “two inches of ivory”. This depiction of female writers is what causes Austen to create Catherine as an individual who takes offense to this classification and through her mastery of style and diction; Austen mocks this misogynistic perception of women through her use of free indirect discourse as a mechanism to point out that women are capable to write on the same stature as men, if …show more content…
Henry the generalization that “journalizing […] contributes to forming the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. […] [Having] a general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar” (15). What Austen is doing here is that she is first identifying how the male specimen viewed women in regards to their writing. By identifying this, Austen is then able to then contrast this claim with her writing style presented throughout the whole novel. Northanger Abbey is riddled with Austen’s ability to write with precision, delicacy, fluidity, therefore, illustrating that women are capable of other forms of writing—not simply

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