Chapter 17-24 (Northanger Abbey)


Intertexuality + Allusion

Intertextuality is the shaping of a text's meaning by another text. It is a literary device that creates an 'interrelationship between texts' and generates related understanding in separate works. These direct references are made to influence the reader and add layers of depth to a text, based on the readers' prior knowledge and understanding.

An allusion is an indirect reference to someone or something outside of the text. Writers commonly allude to other literary works, famous individuals, historical events, or philosophical ideas, and they do so in order to layer associations and meanings from these sources onto their own work

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Examples of Allusions

Shakespeare young woman- "a young woman in love always looks ---- like Patience on a monument Smiling at Grief" (From 12th Night)

  • Love is a very painful and complex thing
  • Deeper complications of what love can cause

Pope- "she learnt to censure those who bear about the mockery of woe"

  • Happy and light hearted spirits

Gray- "many a flower is born to blush unseen…"

  • Way to escape
  • Accept her current situation

Thompson - "it is a delightful task. To teach the young idea how to shoot"

  • Reflects how Catherine is going to learning lessons throughout life and trying to develop as a person
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Examples of Allusions

Shakespeare Trifle:

  • Jealous people Latch onto small things and make a big deal, Catherine learns that she doesn't want to be like this

Shakespeare beetle:

  • Quality among things
  • Shows her kind side of Catherine's character

Catherine is built on her love for novels and her love for Shakespeare novels in particular

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Northanger Abbey as a Gothic Novel

Northanger Abbey can be read as a satire of The Gothic genre. What are the conventions of The Gothic Genre?

  • Strange places
  • Gloomy weather
  • Clashing time periods
  • Power and holding back of power
  • Isolation
  • The supernatural (ghosts, spirits, monsters)
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Intertexuality and Gothic

  • "to justify even the blackest suspicions!"
    • Black can be associated with the word gothic
    • Dark and terrified
  • "Catherine's blood ran cold with the horrid suggestions"
    • Intense
    • Irrational
    • Gothic vocab
  • "Slowly pacing the drawing-room for an hour together in silent thoughtfulness"
    • Eerie
    • Predatory
    • Un-nerving
    • Calculating
    • Villainous
    • Plotting
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Fanny Burney

Who is Fanny Burney?

  • Born in 1752
  • An English novelist
  • Her practice of observing and recording society led eventually to her novel Evelina; or, The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World.
  • Evelina revealed its author to be a keen social commentator with an attentive ear for dialect and the differentiation of London speech.
  • It concerns the development of a young girl, unsure of herself in society and subject to errors of manners and judgment. The plot terminates with Evelina's marriage after the mistakes stemming from her untutored girlhood have been surmounted
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Catherine and Northanger Abbey

Similarities between Evelina and Northanger Abbey:

  • Mr King was the pseudonym used by Burney's cousin, Edward Francesco
  • Dangerous forms of masculine behaviour

What is Austen's purpose in referencing Gothic texts, in particular Udolpho?

  • Because in that era they were popular
  • Shape the novels and texts

How does intertextuality and allusion contribute to Catherine's development?

  • How she thinks because of the novels and the books  

How would the audience at the time respond to this text?

  • Able to relate to Catherine, if they are reading these types of novels. 
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