Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen
Characters

Isabella Thorpe

Characters Isabella Thorpe

Although Isabella cannot be called a villain, she causes many problems over the course of the novel. Isabella manages to weasel a marriage proposal out of James, but when she discovers that he is not as rich as she assumed, she begins flirting with Frederick Tilney. Isabella can be seen as a gold-digger interested only in money, as an attractive girl who cannot refuse the attention of a young man, particularly a wealthy or well-known one, or as someone who simply can't figure out what she wants. But most modern interpretations of Isabella analyze her as one of Austen's ironic caricatures, an exaggeration of the emphasis on wealth and position that often preoccupied high society.