Thursday, August 19, 2010
Northanger Abbey Finale: Chapters 24-31
Concerning the romance, I was left feeling mystified. What exactly drew Henry and Catherine together? I didn't feel privy enough to Henry's thoughts to know why he pursued Catherine. He didn't seem particularly passionate about her except at the end when he rode out to her house. Do you think Henry was motivated by love or by a desire to prove his independence to his father, the General? Perhaps a little of both? I'm thinking Henry knew he liked Catherine right away and only waited to to get to know her more before proposing. As far as I remember, Catherine was always transparent with Henry (correct me if you find places where she was not) even when it embarrassed her to be. Perhaps Henry was happy to find someone who was easy to read because she was honest - unlike the General Tilney, Captain Tilney and the Thorpes.
My favorite aspect of Northanger Abbey was Austen's way of reminding us we are reading a story and how this story differs from other Gothic novels. Austen tells us Catherine is the heroine even though she is rather ordinary. Austen tells us how anticlimactic scenes are, like Catherine's banishment from the Tilney's and uneventful journey home. It is not enough that Austen shows us these things but by telling us it reinforces the humor of each non-scary, non-special moment.
Overall, I give N.A. a thumbs up. This is my third Austen read and it did not disappoint.
Publisher: Broadview, 2002 (originally in 1818) Pages: 280
Rating: 4 Stars Source: Purchased from Amazon