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Northanger Abbey and Persuasion: Two Timeless, Universal Novels. (Blog #3B) June

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 3:05 am

After reading Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both authored by Jane Austen, I can clearly understand why these novels are considered classics. Both novels deal with themes that will always be relevant to the modern world and will always be relatable to the reader.

            The major theme addressed by Jane Austen in both novels was social standing/class distinction. In Northanger Abbey, the main character Catherine, falls in love with Henry Tilney, however; Henry’s father forbids them from marrying because Catherine does not meet the Tileny’s social standing. The Tilney family is much wealthier than Catherine’s family, and a marriage between Catherine and Henry would be a disgrace to the Tilney family name. In Persuasion, a similar situation occurs. The main character Anne Elliot falls in love with Frederick Wentworth. The couple plans on wedding, but Anne’s father disapproves of the marriage. Anne’s family is much wealthier than Frederick’s family, and just like in Northanger Abbey, a marriage between Anne andFrederick would be a disgrace to the Elliot family name.

            Even though both novels were written years ago, the theme of social standing/class distinction is still relevant in today’s society. Recently, the engagement announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton caused a media uproar. Kate was a commoner, a lifestyle that was far from the lifestyle of a royal subject. It had been the first time ever that someone from the royal family had married outside of the royal social standing. The media often criticized Kate for being a commoner, and the fact that she could not maintain a steady job. Despite all this criticism, Kate focused on her relationship, as opposed to her social standing or media criticism, and eventually happily married Prince William, with the public’s happy consent. Kate proved to the world, that social structure can be overthrown. Her love for Prince William and self-determination, not only allowed her to achieve her personal happiness, but convinced the world to embrace her, not her social class!

Prince William and Kate Middleton


Jane Austen’s character driven novel allows the reader to connect well, and identify with, her characters. (Blog #2B)

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 3:01 am

            In Jane Austen’s novel, Persuasion, the story is completely character driven. Jane goes to great lengths to give details about each of the character’s lives, and intertwines the plot around them. Austen focuses on the true emotions of the characters and then allows he plot to unfold.      Throughout the novel, it is evident that Austen wants the reader to feel a connection with her characters. She wants the reader to feel as if they have known these characters all their lives. She wants the reader to be engaged in the novel. Page by page Austen develops the characters lives and gives a brief history of the main characters. In chapter one she states facts such as, “Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esp., ofSouthPark, in the country ofGloucester…” (pg. 1) Austen’s strong ability to develop the characters meticulously throughout the novel, allowed me to connect with each of them. I felt as if I had known the characters personally.

            Although one may argue that some of the facts Jane Austen state about her characters are unnecessary, I feel that this attention to detail is what kept me wanting to read on. I wanted to find out more about these characters. I enjoyed reading about their lives and watching them unfold before my eyes. I felt as though these characters were actual living people.            

            One could think that Austen’s novel was more biographical than fictional, but this is what captures your interest and enhances the character driven novel, to make it such a literary success.


Relating to the characters in the novel, Persuasion. (Blog #1B) May

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 1:14 am

The character, Sir Walter Elliot, from the movie version of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

In Jane Austen’s novel, Pesuasion, she immediately captures the reader’s attention by beginning the story with the main character, Sir Walter Elliot, facing a dilemma. Sir Walter has spent his money unwisely, and ends up in debt. In fact, his debt is so large that the only way to clear it is to sell his pride possession – Kellynch Hall, his home. Sir Walter is deeply saddened by this, but there is no way out. He must sell his home. When Sir Walter agrees to do this, his agent, Mr. Shepherd, produces a list of interested buyers. Sir Walter’s daughters are thrilled that there are so many offers already for their father’s house. They have moved away and are sorry to see their father in debt. Sir Walter, on the other hand, has different ideas. Every time Mr. Shepherd announces that there is an interested buyer, Sir Walter is quick to make an excuse as to why that person is not good enough to live in his house. Excuses such as, “Wentworth? Oh ay! Mr. Wentworth, the curate of Monkford. You misled me by the term gentleman. I thought you were speaking of some man of property. Mr. Wentworth was a nobody…” It is clear that Sir Walter is very upset that he must sell his house, and he will make any excuse possible in order to insure that it will not happen.

I could relate very well to Sir Walter and the disappointment that he felt after realizing that he had to sell his home. A home holds memories. I have lived in my house since I was born, and would miss the memories that were made. Sir Walter may be making silly and amuzing excuses, but it is a real insight into the deep attachment and sentiments he has towards his home.


Major Themes of Northanger Abbey (Blog #3) May

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 7:02 pm

Northanger Abbey Book Cover

Jane Austen draws upon several themes in her novel Northanger Abbey, however; the two main ones I feel she addresses and stresses the most are society and class and friendship.

Society and Class:  Society and class is a major theme addressed in the novel Northanger Abbey, in fact, the main dilemma or conflict in the novel relates entirely to this theme alone.

It is clearly stated throughout the novel that there is a division between families based on wealth. It is a disgrace for wealthy families to associate with poor families, and marriage was based solely on the class of each other’s family.

In the novel, the main character, Catherine Morland, runs into a huge dilemma. She is a poor woman that has fallen in love with a rich man. Since Catherine is poor, the father of the man she loves forbids the two from getting married. It is even stated in the novel that “The General had had nothing to accuse her of…She was guilty only of being less rich than he had supposed her to be.” (pg. 522)

I think it is completely ridiculous that during the time period of this book, marriages were based solely on the class of the other family. Money doesn’t make you happy, and doesn’t buy love.

Friendship:  Friendship is another major theme that affects Catherine in the novel. Catherine is constantly faced with the test of who were true friends and those who were false. In the novel, Catherine meets up with another girl, Isabella, who seems to be very genuine and friendly. The two girls get along fine and enjoy each other’s company. Catherine truly thinks she has found a ‘best friend,’ however; Isabella eventually deserts Catherine, leaving Catherine to wish that she had never spent time with her. It is even stated in the novel that “She [Catherine] was ashamed of Isabella, and ashamed of having ever loved her.” (pg. 503)

I felt sorry for Catherine, and the way Isabella hurt her. Jane Austen used this friendship to stress the point that people may not always be who they seem. You must be careful when choosing your friends, for the people you thought you trusted may not always be there for you.

 The themes Jane Austen presented in the novel really added to the plot and engaged the reader. The book showed realistic consequences through enjoyable, heart warming (and some times heart-wrenching) times. I would recommend the novel to anyone!


Jane Austen’s development of the characters enhances the novel greatly. (Blog #2) April

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 12:13 am

Isabella flirting with Henry Tilney's brother.

As I continue to read Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey, I am enjoying the way that Jane Austen describes and develops her characters. As the novel progresses, so do her characters.

In particular, the development of the main character, Catherine Morland, is quite enjoyable as the reader sees her mature from a young naive girl, to a protective young woman. Catherine’s character develops dramatically when she notices her brother’s fiance, Isabella Thorpe, is flirtatious and spending time with another man. Catherine and Isabella are best friends. This bothers Catherine greatly, and she develops motherly characteristics toward her older brother. She takes on the role of protecting him and making sure his heart does not get broken. What makes this most enjoyable to read is the added drama of Catherine being interested in Henry Tilney, the brother of the young man Isabella is flirting with. Catherine is in quite a dilemma. She tries to break up meetings between Isabella and this gentleman by begging Henry to “…persuade him to go away” (pg. 454). You can truly sense how she is being torn in several different directions. She wants the best for her friend, her brother, and herself – but it could come at quite a price.

Catherine is having the ultimate internal struggle and this draws the reader right into the middle of the situation. The only way to find the resolution is to see how Jane Austen matures Catherine’s character and ultimately enhances the progression of the novel.


Jane Austen does an excellent job at portraying the realness of the characters in her novel. (Blog #1) March

Filed under: Uncategorized — victoria111 @ 12:41 am

This is a picture of the main character, Catherine Morland, from the movie version of Jane Austen's, Northanger Abbey.Book cover of the novel I am reading, Northanger Abbey.

I am part way through Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and am thoroughly enjoying it. I feel the main reason for this is because of Jane Austen’s ability to make the characters seem so real and so believable.

Jane Austen begins by introducing the main character Catherine Morland, and gives a detailed description of her life thus far. She mentions Catherine’s family, Catherine’s interests, and the fact that “for many years of her life, [Catherine was] as plain as any” (pg. 357). As the novel progresses, Catherine’s life progresses, and the reader is informed that Catherine is “in training for a heroine…” (pg. 358). However, a dilemma occurs. A heroine can only be a heroine if she has a hero. So, Catherine travels to Bath, in hopes to find her hero. Catherine finds a young man, Mr. Tilney, whom she is interested in. However, her meetings with him are constantly interrupted as her brother’s friend, John Thorpe, has great interest in her, but she has no interest in him. James becomes a nuisance as he insists on being around Catherine at all times, and never allows Mr. Tilney, or anyone else to have contact with her.

I think the main character Catherine is extremely believable. The emotions she must deal with daily are very similar to the emotions that the reader would also face. Jane Austen makes it easy to relate to Catherine. The reader feels the frustration Catherine is feeling. You want to scream at John – who is always following her, and tell him to leaver her alone. You become anxious when Catherine misses another opportunity to possilby spend time with Mr. Tilney, who could be the hero she is looking for. You want to laugh because the whole situation seems like a comedy, where everybody misses the right opportunity. The connections Jane Austen has made with her characters early on, compel the read to find out what the outcome will be. I can’t wait!