Catherine Morland Character Analysis

Topics: Hero, Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey Pages: 2 (414 words) Published: April 27, 2013
“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine.” Catherine is seen as almost every young girl. Austen takes her normalcy and turns it around to make her a heroine. Catherine is a lot of things your typical heroine isn’t. She has her own heroic style and that’s what makes her different.

Gothic heroines are generally portrayed as attractive and sensitive young women, but in this novel, Austen describes Catherine as the opposite of that. “She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without color, dark lank hair, and strong features.” Catherine is a very plain young girl who becomes "almost pretty" at 15, when she grows plumper, cleaner, and more animated. Catherine's appearance changes so much that her parents are sometimes heard saying, “She is almost pretty today.” By the age of 17 she starts training for a heroine.

Catherine Morland is only 17 years old, which makes her the youngest of Jane Austen's heroines and the girl with the least experience. Catherine was brave enough to leave the house and travel only with the Allens to Bath. The subject of travelling or leaving home plays a big role not only in Northanger Abbey, but also in other novels written by Jane Austen “her heroines usually do not stay in that "country village".” During her childhood, Catherine behaved more like a boy. She grew up with three elder brothers and that made her become self-confident. However, Catherine does posses feminine qualities in her ability to speak her mind even though she lives in a culture that prefers its women to be silent. By looking at these characters we can see that she almost has the mental state of an ideal heroine.

Catherine was born in a family of ten. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper and a good constitution. The tone of the chapter is...
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