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Northanger Abbey Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Northanger Abbey.
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The Gothic Novel

The Gothic novel was a type of novel widely circulating during the period of time considered by the novel. Indeed, the romantic Gothic novel was all the rage at the time Austen was writing Northanger Abbey and the consideration of the Gothic novel forms one of the novel's most interesting themes. Catherine and Henry, the protagonists, are avid fans of Gothic novels, as is Isabella, the antagonist. In fact, Catherine's confabulation of Gothic fictive elements with real life forms the basis of one of the most humorous sub-plots in the text, as she creeps through Northanger Abbey looking for clues to bolster her theory that General Tilney murdered his wife . . . or imprisoned her, whichever. Henry's shared fondness for novels forms an early point of connection for the two characters, and shared tastes in particular novels serves to bond Catherine to her false friend Isabella. Thus, the...

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This section contains 818 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Northanger Abbey Study Guide
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