Catherine travels from Fullerton to Bath to Northanger. Elinor and Marianne travel from Norland to Barton to London to Cleveland. Why do the heroines have to leave their homes? How do their geographic locations connect to plot and character development?
All three heroines have to journey from the sheltered safety of their birth homes to learn, suffer, and grow. Catherine is sheltered and naive when she arrives in Bath under the protection of an older family friend. At first, Catherine takes the people she meets at their word, for example, not comprehending the manipulations and hypocrisies of her new "best friend" Isabella Thorpe. Much of the comedy of the first part of the novel hinges on Catherine's unworldliness and the dramatic irony it produces. Dramatic irony is when the the audience knows what a character in a work of literature doesn't, and in the case of Northanger Abbey, we as readers quickly understand that Catherine is being used by people who don't really care...
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