Literary Analysis Of Northanger Abbey

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Northanger Abbey is a coming of age story of an average, naïve, and imaginative girl, Catherine. The excerpt from this novel is particularly interesting and is in the voice of a narrator, which we assume is Jane Austen’s voice through analyzing the voice and word choice of the text. The excerpt covers a description of Catherine’s friendship with Isabella, which is used to lead into Austen’s discussion of novels in context to the times in regards to her fellow novel writers. A lot can be learned about Austen through the close reading of this passage. Austen appears to be revealing personal thoughts. Austen reveals her distaste for rash judgments of people and friendships and more importantly her frustration with novelists and their judges.
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The word choice progress is interesting because progress is typically defined as a journey to a destination, often a better destination than one’s current state. Therefore implying that the end destination is a healthy and happy friendship, which as we later learn is not the case. The progress of the friendship is described as quick because its “beginning had been warm,” (Austen 22). The choice the tense, had been instead of was, implies that their friendship was warm in the beginning, but still continues to be warm. The use of the word warm is not a common way to describe a budding friendship, but when used in reference to people and not temperature is more often used in describing a personality trait, similar to calling someone kind or …show more content…
When the narrator mentions that Catherine and Isabella read novels the narrator then says, “Yes, novels; - for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding – joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust,” (Austen 22). The use of “yes, novels” is extremely colloquial and changes the tone of the passage entirely and even seems to be anticipating the reader’s question. “Yes, novels” appears to be an answer to the reader saying to themselves Catherine and Isabella sit around reading novels? The narrator continues with a long sentence, which reads like a rant said in an exasperated tone. There is an emphasis on the word I because the structure of the sentence could just read “I will not,” but instead reads, “for I will not,” which when read emphasizes I and makes the change of tone in the passage highlighted. The changed tone shows anger from the narrator and disgust with other novelists. This makes one assume

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