I, unfortunately, am also included in the “zombies” because I completely blanked out and just remembered I have a blog post due today. Well technically yesterday. Whoops.
Northanger Abbey is interesting, and I got into it right at the beginning with Austen’s intriguing style of narration. Her way of describing Catherine Morland was very interesting, and I especially loved how Austen described her childhood as that of someone who would not be seen as a “heroine” and then gradually becoming one. In my reading of this, or how I interpreted it (which may be completely and utterly wrong) was how critical this was of woman during the time period of the early nineteenth century.
The tomboy Catherine was not seen as a heroine because of what she liked/disliked to do, and because all “proper” girls were to be well read (generally artistically, including music, drawing, etc.), well bred and well behaved she did not fit into the category. I think this is a great example of how the society molds people into what they should or should not be. Catherine, in my opinion, was cool when she was younger because she did what she wanted and did not seem to care much about the requirements of becoming a proper lady. But then to become a “heroine” or to be able to be classified as one when she became older, she began reading and being proper and putting herself through all the activities which would make her a conventional lady of the time. This was really interesting to me because at first I thought she would be the type of heroine to take action on her own and save herself instead of having a hero come along and drag her out of her misery, but then I think I’ve been mistaken because we are told that Catherine was waiting for a hero. And that hero turns out to be well… less heroic and more narcissistic.
Now linking that to zombies: Catherine becomes a zombie by abiding to the social norms of the “proper lady” and doing what she previously did not have interest in. Albeit this could have been due to her young age and shifting appeals of various hobbies, it nonetheless describes the conformity one goes through within society in order to “fit in”, in this case for the benefit of finding a husband. Zombies of society, living without consciousness of the effects of hegemony and social norms which pretty much also describes Shaun of the Dead.
Now if only some special individual’s blood can cure us of this kind of zombification, that’d be great.
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I like your point about how Catherine becomes a zombie…that’s the idea I came to too. And it’s also interesting to notice that from the description of when she was younger one might get the sense that she would be more of an autonomous, heroic person, but then she turns out not to be at all. Perhaps because of socialization? I don’t know. She is a strange character, I think. She’s very honest and generally seems to have a good moral character, but she’s pretty naive and somewhat simple-minded and too easily gives in to the tutelage of Henry. Why make someone like this one’s protagonist? Especially from an author who has made several other very strong, interesting female protagonists? I wonder if it’s something to do with the content of the novel, with what the novel is saying, but I can’t quite figure it out yet.
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