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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey


by Jane Austen

Mr. Morland

Character Analysis

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 excitement. Mr. Morland seems to have much in common with his wife: both are practical, no-fuss people. He also definitely contrasts to the other father in the book, General Tilney. Mr. Morland values the happiness of his children and most likely wouldn't go around randomly and rudely throwing people out of his house. Interestingly, Mr. Morland is a clergyman, like Henry. This textual detail may be hinting at some parallels between the solid marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Morland and the future marital success of Henry, a clergyman, and Catherine, a woman who becomes more rational, like her mother, by the novel's end.

Mr. Morland is best characterized by the response he sends to James following his engagement. James and Catherine feel that their father is being both supportive and fair in regards to James' marriage settlement. The Thorpes, on the other hand, think Mr. Morland is being stingy. The Thorpe's reaction to Mr. Morland's response gives Catherine a display of the Thorpe's true, greedy natures. He may not be around much, but Mr. Morland plays a role in shedding light on some of the book's other major characters.