Catherine being traced re the social, psychological, emotional and intellectual, in addition to her growth as a fully functional lady of society. The first chapter focuses on the Catherine's practicality, her intelligent, but not brilliant mind and her lack of experience in the world. Austen introduces Catherine as a realistic character, while contrasting that realism to her role as the heroine of a novel. Jane Austen presents Catherine Morland at the beginning of the novel, this opens the novel to a very interesting and yet peculiar start to the Northanger Abbey, "No one who had ever seen Catherine
Morland in her infancy would have supposed her to be born an heroine". This opening sentence leaves the reader expecting her to become a heroine as her life progresses. The author's careful diction characterises Catherine, "No one who had ever seen," as though her outward appearance cannot righteously represent her true inner nature. The description of Catherine's appearance typifies this. When Austen describes Catherine in the opening of the novel, she suggests that she is an unlikely gothic heroine.
Catherine isn't described as a stereotypical child, nevertheless, she ad a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features, "so much for her person and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind". Austen presents Catherine to be as boring and plain, while at the same time encouraging the idea of her strong and courageous nature. By introducing her as a possible heroine, the contrasting description of her external features and the image of her heroism create a concept in the readers mind.
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In Chapter one of Northanger Abbey, Catherine is presented as naive and innocent, as Catherine is stereotyped as person who "never could learn or understand anything before she was taught. " This helps to paint a picture of Catherine being helpless and dependent for extended emphasis or exaggeration of the trials she must go through to reach maturity and independence. For if Catherine learns through the guidance and teaching of others, her gullibility in what she is taught is heightened, therefore she may be inclined to believe everything that she hears or reads.
Austen describes Catherine, "She was fond of all boys, playing and greatly preferred cricket". This relates to Mary Woolstone Craft, whereas Catherine's imagination runs away with her childhood because "she is kept in a state of perpetual childhood". Austen presents Catherine's childhood as marked by energy, vitality and good temper, "She was moreover, noisy and wild", Catherine wasn't interested in learning music or art she held the characterises of a young child who is immature and not very grounded on life. Young children at that age, however, are expected to be witty and charming.
Catherine, however, is not accomplishment for 19th century women. Every household that could afford one had piano, and the daughters of the house would be expected to learn to play and sing, so they could entertain the family and any visitors. Sketching and painting were considered elegant female accomplishments. Sewing was another one; girls would learn to do elegant embroidery. Speaking foreign languages was considered an accomplishment; girls would learn French and German and how this education plays a role in her position within society.
Catherine Morland was the complete opposite of the stereotypical child; Jane Austen presented Catherine at the beginning of the ovel to the broad conflicting on how a heroine should act. Catherine Is more apparent when she turns fifteen years old, we gain an insight that Catherine has developed into a different character, "her love for dirt gave away' and "grows quite a good looking girl" this shows the maturity of Catherine and the stages into adulthood. Catherine's appearances change completed as, "her features were softened, by plumpness and colour".
Also, Catherine was "reading books of information", Catherine is now showing traits of the "accomplished women" and the qualities of a eroine, nevertheless at the start of the novel Jane presents Catherine as nothing but a heroine and this shows how Catherine grows up and becomes more mature. In the first part of the novel, Catherine finds herself in the fashionable Bath where she is eager for adventures. She meets people who are in Bath for different reasons but mainly to find a suitable partner in life.
Already after a couple of weeks in Bath, far away from her family, she is starting to mature. Her introduction to Bath society makes Catherine lose a little of her childish innocence. At one moment in Bath she is larmed and surprised at seeing Henry accompanied by another woman: "Catherine sat erect, in the perfect use of her senses and with cheeks only a little redder than usual" though Catherine does not reveal any emotions, quite the opposite of a Gothic heroine. When she meets Henry Tilney, instead of fainting with pure Joy she welcomes him quietly.
Jane Austen presents Catherine Morland different around certain characters, as when we are first introduced to Isabella Thorpe she is presented as a admirable character at first, she comes across friendly, elegant and eautiful, as Catherine says in the novel, "her eldest daughter had great personal beauty'. Catherine's character changes when she meets Isabella Thorpe, Catherine admires her as a role model as Austen writes how Catherine, "most admirable girl" this helps Catherine's character to grow as she soon learns the social rules of how to behave whilst in Bath.
As we know Isabella is four years older than Catherine so Catherine perhaps perceives Isabella as an older sister figure to Catherine. Catherine and Isabelle gain a friendship quickly which could suggest how Catherine is naive as he has not let herself get to know Isabella as quick as she should have, "The progress of the friendship between Catherine and Isabella was quick as its beginning to get warm".
Isabella comes across as very manipulative character and also seeks male attention, when Catherine and Isabella catch the eye of two young men, " they set of immediately, as fast as they could walk, in pursuit of the two young men", Catherine, however, doesn't want to follow the two young men and doesn't crave the male attention which Isabella does, this shows that Isabella manipulates what Catherine thinks and Jane presents this by showing that Isabella however Is in charge eventually drops her superficial friendship with Isabella in favour of a more mature friendship with Eleanor.
In many ways, the mature and reasonable Eleanor represents the type of adult that Catherine makes some progress towards becoming an responsible adult. Eleanor is, after all, rational, kind, well-mannered, well-rea, and is capable to keeping up with her brother's wit and if she's not as exciting and wildly entertaining as Isabella, well, that's probably a good thing. After all, she does get ewarded with her very own Viscount in the end, which Just proves that good deeds, like putting up with her difficult father, really can be rewarded.
Catherine, who grows up considerably over the course of the novel, eventually drops her superficial friendship with Isabella in favour of a more mature friendship with Eleanor. In many ways, the mature and reasonable Eleanor represents the type of adult that Catherine makes some progress towards becoming, She is described as having a "good fgure, a pretty face and a very agreeable countenance" and is also described as having good anners and a good sense this foreshadows later on in the novel where Eleanor gives Catherine money to go home when General Tilney banishes Catherine from Northanger Abbey.
Eleanor Tinley comes across as more of a heroine than Catherine Morland. Whereas the friendship between Eleanor and the characters also contrast in the way that Isabella enjoys having attention, whereas we are told that Eleanor is at the ball "without wanting to fix the attention of every man near her" which shows she is a much more mature character and would make a better role model to Catherine rather than Isabella. Overall the novel follows Catherine Morland's progress from innocence and delusion to understanding and clear sight.
She never loses her honest and unaffectedness, which is what, makes her an attractive heroine despite being neither clever nor witty. At the beginning of chapter one Catherine isn't presented as a typical heroine and doesn't have the typical heroine traits as she does not bother to learn or has any talent at all, however, when Catherine grows to be older she begins to realise her maturity and she begins to have the qualities of an 'accomplished women' traits about her.
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