Looking for homework help that takes the stress out of studying? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen
Summary

Volume II, Chapters V & VI

Summary Volume II, Chapters V & VI

However, part of Henry's story does come true. In the second parody of the Gothic genre, Austen provides her heroine with a mysterious chest nearly identical to the one described in Henry's story. Catherine clings to the few items in the Abbey that strike her as satisfyingly Gothic, and her imagination does the rest.

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.