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Northanger Abbey

            Northanger Abbey is a novel that is about more than a girl who is looking to find a husband. Its author Jane Austen is able to create a type of gothic parody that through out the novel is integrated into the characterization and able to show the realities of a young girl growing up in a complicated and complex adult society. Jane Austen is able to critique society as well by sharing her opinion in this novel. Northanger Abbey is an excellent novel because it shows the society reflected in many ways throughout the novel therefore giving the reader an inside knowledge of the time period.
             During the time period that this novel was written the gothic novel was a main piece of literature that was read. Jane Austen and Samuel Coleridge both did not agree that this was necessarily a good influence on society. They each believed that it was somewhat harmful, but they did not all together have the same opinion. .
             Samuel Coleridge shares his opinion of gothic novels stating that they have no value. Coleridge thought that gothic novels provide unfathomable characters that the gothic romance authors have come up with very quickly and have not put much thought into. He also suggests that these books are mindless; they include no effort or thinking to read. Coleridge's opinion of the novel suggests that the elements in the gothic novels were not important to its understanding as a romance novel. It might imply his understanding of the world came from a different view point, one of the future. .
             Considering that he went on to write "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner- which was very gothic shows that he did not completely discredit the gothic novels value. He must have recognized that the gothic novels were able to capture the reader's attention with the elements that they possess. He may have felt that in order to gain readership he needed to include some gothic elements, but include them in a way that does not leave the writing mindless.

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