Essay on Discuss the role of friendship in Northanger Abbey.

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Essay Sample: Page 2

artificial and affected speech contrasts sharply with Eleanor’s polite

and reserved small talk. Isabella tends to chatter constantly,

changing topics continually. She seems to speak without thinking of

the consequences. She is so determined to achieve her own desires she

forgets to consider others before she acts. It could be argued that

there is no real malice in Isabella’s actions, just a lack of

thoughtfulness. Henry Tilney describes Isabella as ‘open, candid,

artless, guileless, with affections strong but simple, forming no

pretensions, and knowing no disguise.’. He makes no mention of her

being wilfully malicious. At the end of the novel Isabella treats

Catherine and James badly but whether she had intended to do this is

questionable. It is her desire to improve her station in life that

leads to her trying to manipulate people for her own purposes. Austen

uses free indirect speech to portray Isabella as an ironic character –

‘…it was inconceivable, incredible, impossible’ (p.48 NA). These

words are not actually direct speech yet mimic the character’s way of

speaking. Isabella tends to hyperbolise and use colloquialisms in her

speech. Austen uses Isabella to demonstrate and exaggerate society’s

desire for wealth and good marriages.

As the novel progresses the reader is given more of an insight into

Isabella’s inconsistencies. Whilst she professes that ‘There is

nothing I would not do for those who are really my
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