The Characteristics Of Women In Northanger Abbey By Jane Austen

1564 Words 7 Pages
In the Gothic genre, authors write about the taboo. This includes the topic about a woman’s place in society. In Gothic novels, women are characterized by either shameless harlotry or trembling innocence. This description makes sense as seen in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. These definitions are played with by Stephen King in the novel Carrie where he uses these definitions and then seems to suggest that no one iscompletely set in one specific characteristic.
In Northanger Abbey, the reader is introduced to Catherine who will be classified as innocent. She lived on her family’s property for all her life and when she attends Bath in the novel, she is thrown into a social situation that she has very little knowledge of. One example of this
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By using this way of thinking and comparing it to the innocent way of thinking that people believe they need to have in the real world, the Gothic genre appeals to most people because more people can relate to feeling like they have to hide certain thoughts from the outside world. This extreme juxtaposition of women seems to be a bad thing, but Stephen King uses these definitions and expands on them in Carrie in order to show that women, and humans in general, do not belong to one single …show more content…
Specifically, these definitions are seen in the characters Carrie White and Chris Hargensen. Carrie’s innocence is seen in the beginning of the novel where she is distraught and believes she is dying when she gets her first menstrual cycle, (King,12). Having this as the opening to the book, King makes readers feel bad for Carrie because she was kept in such a tight religious household that she didn’t even know how her body functions. The other Gothic definition is seen in Chris. Chris is the girl who from the beginning of the novel, is bullying Carrie and she is the one to get most of the bullying started. But she isn’t just a bully, she also is quite social and has had many boyfriends, “Billy had not been her first lover,” (King, 152). In Carrie, the definition of harlotry used to describe women is a lot more casual. King does not seem to be saying that Chris often sleeps around, she just has had experience with boys. He has used the pattern of juxtapositioning women of innocence and harlotry, but has done so with a less harsh definition of harlotry. By changing the definition, King has created a complicated comparison of the two because he also shows some of the characters being somewhere in the middle of the two which seems to say that maybe these definitions aren’t all that

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