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3 ways to approach northanger abbey.doc

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EN 3193
Natalie Neill

3 ways to approach northanger abbey 1) gothic parody (the journey home from Northanger Abbey, when Catherine’s a wallflower and doesn’t have a person to dance with and has to sit beside two elderly woman) 2) within the context of late 18 /early 19 century debates about novel reading –Austen’s response to “anti-novel” attitudes and attitudes about women and reading. Was suspected that novels were dangerous and had readers believe. that what they read was true. So that’s why Austen is writing a realistic novel. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe actually had readers believing that you should kill yourself in honour of the one who you love who you can’t love. (Married, dating someone else, etc.) The book is about one man who kills himself because he’s in love with a woman who’s married. Gothic fictions was criticized as quite dangerous especially for women. Such novels don’t prepare women readers for the realities of life. Don Quixote is a great example of how you shouldn’t read into novels. 3) within the context of late 18 / early 19 debates about female education and women in society –Austen makes fun of female readers but in a playful way and trying to encourage a reading experience that you need to read critically and actively read. Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women which divides views for or against. Main argument: women’s inferiority or weakness doesn’t happen naturally it is produced. Women are as capable of becoming reasonable. It all has to do with educati
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