What's in a Name?

Ecstasy (n)- 2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; joy may rise to ecstasy. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Doldrums (n)- A sate of inactivity or stagnation.(Dictionary.com)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just To Prove Ali Right

The visions of romance were over. Catherine was completely awakened. Henry's address, short as it had been, had more thoroughly opened her eyes to the extravagance of her late fancies than all her several disappointments had done. Most grievously was she humbled.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

So, what's the deal with this atypical Jane Austen book? A girl who engrosses herselves in gothic romances to the point of stirring up completely unrealistic conclusions of people and life. Seems very unlike the other five books. When I first read this one, I didn't care for it at all. It still isn't my favorite of her novels, but I have more of an appreciation for it now that it has been a bit better explained.

You see, Northanger Abbey is a satire. I understand that Jane Austen was making fun of the way that girls of her era were wasting their time reading silly novels filled with filth and impropriety. Thus she created Catherine Morland. She was led astray by her very active imagination which stemmed from these books- what we would now call harlequin romances. In the end the noble and good man she loves confronts her with this folly and she sees her faults. She changes and matures and in the end, as in all Austen novels, gets the man!

I see a bit myself in Catherine Morland. My tendency to come to wrong conclusions based on my imaginations. In the past I have read silly novels (nothing like the ones described in this book, though) and let my thoughts go wild. Maybe that's why the Bible says that useless imaginations lead us farther away from God and make us even more base (see Romans 1:21). This is why we must guard our thoughts:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5~

So that is my moral lesson out of this piece of literature. As for this last adaptation, I thought it was the better version. There were a couple of scenes that shouldn't have been in it and one of the characters was very immodest (in more ways than one!). I did like the dynamics and the interpretation of Henry Tilney. To those of you who aren't sick of my Austentatious ramblings and have watched the adaptation.... what did you think?

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