Saturday, July 31, 2010

Northanger Abbey

I just finished reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I found it lighter in tone than her other novels. It seemed like she really had a lot of fun with the characters and the plot. I enjoyed the parts, early in the story, where Catherine discusses the value of novels and novel-reading with some of the other characters. She is surprised that men can like novels, just like women, as Henry Tilney does.

I really enjoyed how Catherine works herself up to a frightful state by imaging things in the bedroom where she is staying in Northanger Abbey. Out of thin air she builds up a suspicion that General Tilney murdered his wife, even though nothing like that happened. But in the end, Catharine shows her good sense and sense of humor.

It was shameful how the General sent her away when he realized that Catherine wasn't a rich heiress. The story made me really feel the injustice of having to return home in a public carriage.

There's really a lot of satire in the novel. Mrs. Allen is just an empty airhead, concerned only with fashion. John Thorpe, in addition to being a boring, self-absorbed braggart, was also the source of the General's misunderstanding. He richly deserved to never find a wife!

All in all, this is a great story. I would like to read the text this time. Although audio version was full text, I bet it would be better still to read it.

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