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There are three main environments in which the novel, Northanger Abbey, is set.

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There are three main environments in which the novel, Northanger Abbey, is set. The initial location is Fullerton and it is from here Catherine begins her journey. This is also the place to which Catherine returns at the end of the narrative. By the very fact that Fullerton is located at the start and the end of Catherine's journey, it can be used as a comparison with the other locations in the novel. Catherine wants to leave Fullerton, as it is not exciting enough and certainly not as glamorous a place as the second location, Bath. Indeed, the Allens, who own the majority of the land in Fullerton, are happy to spend much of the year socialising in Bath. Mrs Allen takes Catherine to Bath because "adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village". Although Catherine has a strong desire for adventure and may exaggerate the "sleepiness" of Fullerton, it does seem to be a quiet and sedate place. ...read more.


It is here that Catherine meets Henry Tilney and the Thorpe family. Bath lacks the stability of Fullerton and it is this insincerity that enables Bath to be seen as a place where it is easy to practise deceit. Bath is full of "new acquaintances" and thus easy to befriend and utilise people to assist in any schemes and to fall back upon, if caught. It is here that Isabella deceives the trusting Catherine for longer than would be possible in a close nit environment like Fullerton. In contrast to Isabella, Catherine's new friend, Henry Tilney, is aware of the falseness of Bath. He puts up with the shallow entertainment in the hope he finds a worthy friend there, as happens on meeting Catherine. Indeed, while dancing with Catherine, he convey his amusement that many visitors to Bath come to dislike the place, but prolong their stay only to leave when money runs out, thus presenting a damaging fascination with Bath. ...read more.


These fantastical ideas are not appropriate for such a comfortable and peaceful environment as Northanger, or the Tilneys, its owners. The different environments throughout the novel mark the different stages in the narrative. Fullerton is the place from which Catherine must leave her staid and stable surroundings in order to find adventure. Bath is the place of fun and amusement, but also a place of deception and dishonesty. It is the place where Catherine learns about the harsher aspects of life through Isabella's trickery and superficiality. In Northanger, once she is put right about her fictitious imagined mystery regarding Mrs Tilney, Catherine finds friendship in this solid and comfortable environment. It is also the place where she learns of Isabella's deceit and this emphasises the positive and truthful aspects of Northanger. On returning to Fullerton, Catherine finds warmth and comfort in her family after the hurt caused from the past deception. Fullerton becomes a more exciting place with arrival of Henry and his proposal of marriage. Thus Austen uses the 3 principle locations to highlight ideals and underline the transitions throughout the novel in Catherine's life. ...read more.

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