Northanger Abbey | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Chapter 31

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 31 from Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey | Chapter 31 | Summary

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Summary

Catherine Morland's parents were not expecting Henry Tilney or his request to marry Catherine. They are not opposed to his suit, but they will not support it unless General Tilney consents as well.

The resolution is summarized by the narrator. Henry returned to Woodston, and he communicated with Catherine by letter. In time, Eleanor Tilney married a man for whom she already had feelings, who was unexpectedly a member of the peerage. In his better mood, the general allowed Henry to return to Northanger Abbey and, in short order, consented to the marriage of Henry and Catherine. The narrator notes the marriage occurs 12 months from the date the two had met.

Analysis

In the closing chapter, as in the opening chapters, the narrator addresses the reader. The events are all tied up tidily. Eleanor Tilney is married to a man with a title, but he is also a man she loves. Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland spend the remainder of the year in conversation via letters, and a year after meeting, they also are wed. The novel closes with a happy resolution that the characters succeed and find happiness. It is a pat, but complete, resolution to the novel.

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