Study Guide

Mrs. Morland in Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen

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Mrs. Morland

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 experiences in Bath and Northanger Abbey. In fact, Mrs. Morland has trouble conceiving that Catherine is actually lovesick when she returns home. Like a lot of parents, Mrs. Moreland treats Catherine like a baby at times.

She definitely values common sense and work over Catherine's flights of fancy. Of course, given the lessons that Catherine learns over the course of the book, she may grow to be a bit more like her practical mother in the future. Indeed, like the other Morlands, Mrs. Morland isn't a particularly witty or sophisticated conversationalist. This is something that Catherine herself notes after spending time with the double-speaking Thorpes:

Her own family were plain matter-of-fact people, who seldom aimed at wit of any kind; her father, at the utmost, being contented with a pun, and her mother with a proverb. (9.31)

Mrs. Morland is also a very kind, if understated, person, and she quickly welcomes Henry to the family, opting not to hold the bizarre actions of his father against him.

Mrs. Morland in Northanger Abbey Study Group

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