Jane Austen’s Introduces A Heroine

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey,

The novel from the introduction tells us that heros and heroines, are born of people who have obstacles triumphs far outside of an average family structure and household. Merely, the meagerness of attentive parents who bore 10 children, plainly, would be outside of the relm of a heroine.

A heroine is defined as a “woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.”
In the reading, it is narrated that “But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.” This is reference that as Catherine aged, it was inevitable that she would seek life adventures aboard. “..and probably aware if adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad…” (p.8) and become the heroine of the story.

She states, even in the beginning of our readings, quotes that she was in training for from 15-17. “..from the Pope, ‘bear about the mockery of woe.’…”she continues on with the lessons of the great historical influences and what life lesson she takes from each. She, as a heroine, gravitated towards journey.

It fancies me that, “our heroine’s entrée into life could not take place till after three to four days had been spent in learning what was mostly worn,” (p.10) The women are in a era of judgment consistently. For sensibility and clothing, your dressing and your intellectual ability wasn’t just a simple reflection of how you feel at the moment, it stood for your character. We see how this overlaps with classism, from ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ with Miss Hardcastle in her judgments and decision to deceive her beau with appearance.

The concern of woman and their rights is reflected in the works of our reading. There is strong evidence of objectification slightly similar to that as with the role of slave labors. The women’s role even as a heroine, objectified.


2 thoughts on “Jane Austen’s Introduces A Heroine

  1. I thought what you took from the first paragraph of the reading was really interesting. The idea that heroes and heroines come from people who have had and overcome obstacles in their lives. This not only holds for this particular reading but also in today’s world, when you think about a hero much of the time you’re going to think of a super hero like Batman or Spiderman. I know these are fictional characters but when you stop to think about it they have backgrounds that have allowed them to become these icons. It’s the same way in the real world, our heroes aren’t just people we pick out of the blue they are people who inspire us through their actions. Fictional or not people look up to others, having a hero in your life can allow you to overcome your own obstacles in life. It’s crazy how times change but ideas and heroines can progress through time.

  2. I agree with your perception that Catherine is being objectified, but I can’t figure out if it is in a negative connotation or not. She is continually referred to as a heroine, yes? Isn’t a heroine a positive figure? I feel like the classism that is represented is not as a commentary, it is simply how the times were. Every hero/heroine must go through a learning phase, and what would be more appropriate than Catherine learning how to operate in her new social circles?

    I also agree with Sara’s comment about heros and heroines having to overcome obstacles. Every superhero story involves some kind of tragedy or hurdle that they have to overcome to be realized as the hero/heroine. This trope is useful, because it sets up a dichotomy of the hero/heroine when they are “down” and when they are the most powerful. This dichotomy elicits a perceived greatness that is greater than if the hero doesn’t have to struggle. Batman wouldn’t have been so great had he not lost his parents, for example.

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