Northanger Abbey


what about discourse in the novel

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"Austen's use of free indirect discourse, in which the language of the narrator reflects the perspective and the language of a character, increases and becomes tighter. The focus has shifted almost entirely to Catherine, and it moves to other characters only at those times when Henry has a long dialogue with Catherine—and sometimes not even then. The technique becomes more and more focused with each chapter, and almost all of the second half of the book is told from Catherine's perspective. Also, the narrator has stopped interrupting the story to make comments on Catherine or her situation. The last few pages of chapter VI are good examples of Austen's free indirect form of narration." (1)

"The narrator varies greatly. Sometimes the narrator is contented to simply describe events normally; sometimes the narrator addresses the reader directly; and sometimes (especially in the second half of the novel) Austen uses the technique of free indirect discourse, in which she describes people and events from a 3rd-person perspective, but in the way that a particular character (in this case, Catherine) sees and understands them." (2)


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