Study Guide

Northanger Abbey Chapter 5

By Jane Austen

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Chapter 5

  • That night, Catherine and the Allens attend the theater with the Thorpes.
  • Catherine is disappointed that Henry isn't there.
  • But Henry's mysterious disappearing act lends him an aura of intrigue that Catherine finds attractive.
  • Mrs. Allen is now really happy that she knows people in Bath and says so, repeatedly.
  • Isabella and Catherine bond rapidly and do things like read novels together and walk arm in arm. If friendship bracelets existed back then, they'd totally make some.
  • The narrator gives us a spiel on novels. Other novels tend to bash novels even though they are novels. It's confusing.
  • Novels are considered corrupting material for impressionable young female minds, so heroines in novels typically don't read novels themselves.
  • Our narrator takes issue with this and goes on a satirical rant against commentators who bash the novel and apologetic novelists.
  • Novels, says our narrator, are interesting and entertaining. They are also relevant. And the best thing since sliced bread.

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