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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Tools of Characterization
Captain Frederick Tilney
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Northanger Abbey Characters
Meet the Cast
As Jane Austen helpfully informs us at the beginning of Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland isn't really much of a heroine. Catherine is a lot of things your typical heroine isn't. She isn't especi...
Wit and DialogueHenry Tilney has a few things in common with another famous Henry – Henry Higgins of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and of the movie-musical My Fair Lady. Henry Higgins is wi...
Isabella Thorpe might just be the most entertaining person in the entire novel. You might say, "But Isabella is manipulative and scheming and unfaithful and self-serving and lots of other not-so-ni...
If John Thorpe is loud, rude, a bit dimwitted, blustering, and really overbearing – hilariously so, really. He's always yelling and swearing. He's even rude to his mother. He's also the world...
Eleanor Tilney is arguably the most serious character in the book, on two levels. On the one hand, she is serious in terms of personality. She's polite and earnest and maybe just a little boring. O...
General Tilney is accurately, if understatedly, described by Mrs. Morland as a "strange man" (29.10). Indeed. General Tilney is totally rocking out a whole Captain von Trapp vibe, from the first pa...
Catherine's older brother is definitely in the running for best brother in this book. James is generally nice to his sister and his parents and overall seems like a dutiful and kind brother and son...
Captain Frederick Tilney
Captain Tilney is the epitome of the bad boy. He's the type who rides into town on a motorcycle, wearing a black leather jacket and shades, ready to stir up trouble. Well, he probably rode in on a...
As Catherine's supposed chaperone, Mrs. Allen is pretty ineffectual. If Catherine were more rebellious, then Mrs. Allen would be a dream – she agrees with anything Catherine says and basicall...
Mr. Allen clearly has a monopoly on all the common sense in his marriage to Mrs. Allen. He actually does a much better job of chaperoning Catherine and sheltering her from potential social impropri...
Mrs. Morland is a very good, if somewhat naive, parent. The entire Morland family is a bit unworldly, and Mrs. Moreland definitely has some trouble understanding the import of Catherine's experienc...
We definitely hear and see less of Mr. Moreland that his spouse. In fact, Mr. Morland completely disappears when Henry drops by to apologize and to propose. Mr. Morland totally misses all the excit...
Catherine's younger sister Sarah, or Sally, is a failure as a sibling, as least in terms of romantic literary sensibility as outlined by Jane Austen. Rather than being best friends, Sally and Cathe...
The matriarch of the Thorpe clan seems to have a very hands-off approach to parenting. Her children pretty much run amok in Bath, engaging in scandalous behavior, and causing problems. She seems co...
One of Isabella's younger sisters, Anne Thorpe seems to be the Jan Brady of the Thorpe family. Isabella is clearly the Marcia – her mother introduces the girls by commenting on how Isabella i...
A younger sister of Isabella, Maria goes on the rather infamous Clifton excursion and appears to be something of an Isabella in training. That is, if the report of Anne Thorpe, regarding Maria's be...
Mrs. Tilney died nine years prior to the events in Northanger Abbey of a sudden and tragic illness. Her absence is acutely felt by her only daughter, Eleanor. Though General Tilney seems unfeeling,...
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