An Unlikely Heroine.

Catherine Morland.

"No one would have supposed her to be born a heroine."
-Northanger Abbey.


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“But from fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine…”

Catherine Morland is perhaps my best loved heroines of Jane Austen. I first discovered Northanger Abbey when I was about 10 years old. Around this time I had discovered my love for periodic dramas and was recently engrossed in the Jane Austen season on ITV 1. I was positively enthralled by the romantic storylines, bonnets and witty characters associated with Jane Austen. Once I watched the Northanger Abbey episode, I knew that one day I had to read the book and discover more about the Gothic mysteries behind the Abbey’s walls.

Catherine Morland, portrayed by Felicity Jones, and Mr Tilney, played by JJ Fields.

Catherine Morland, portrayed by Felicity Jones.

Being the youngest of all Jane Austen’s creations, Catherine Morland can also be considered the most naive. With a sheltered outlook on both life and love, Catherine is portrayed as being deficient in perception. Most notably this can be seen when she fails to notice the growing attachment between her own brother and her friend Isabella Thorpe. Also, having experienced very little in life, due to her rural upbringing in Fullerton, Catherine seems to be almost clueless about John Thorpe’s eager flirtations with her.

However, Catherine Morland is very sweet when it comes to her innocent interest in the charming and kind Mr Tilney. Besides having a great story line, I love how Northanger Abbey’s lasting message is one of personal growth. This is because by the end of the novel, when Catherine is taught a rather embarrassing lesson about the dangers of running away with her own imagination, she becomes a much better judge of character. Therefore, the way Jane Austen portrays the true and honest nature of the innocent Catherine Morland makes her a positive feminist role model.



About Feminism Through Cinema and Literature

Hi, its Tia. From Cambridge, England. Avid reader, film watcher and feminist. Studying for an undergraduate degree in English Literature at York St John University. The tone of my blog has hopefully developed into a more literary and critical analysis of female roles in cinema and literature. This is a development that I hope to continue as I progress with my studies. Hope you enjoy my blog and do feel free to leave a comment.
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