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Northanger Abbey | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Chapter 9

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 9 from Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey.

Northanger Abbey | Chapter 9 | Summary



Catherine Morland sleeps well and plans to meet up with Miss Tilney. Unfortunately, John Thorpe shows up and claims they had plans for a ride. Catherine attempts to convey to Mrs. Allen that she has no wish to do so, but Mrs. Allen has no awareness of the intention of Catherine's pointed looks at her.

On the ride with John, Isabella Thorpe, and James Morland, Catherine is once more subjected to John's boastfulness. He asks rude questions about Mr. Allen, offers illogical statements about alcohol, and engages in other unpleasantness.

When she returns, she learns Mrs. Allen saw Eleanor and Henry Tilney. She is disappointed she missed seeing them, and even more so because she instead spent the time with John, whom she finds "quite disagreeable."


Catherine Morland is quite easily manipulated. John Thorpe is a less skillful version of his sister in many ways, but both Thorpe siblings lie to Catherine and both invite her to speak negatively about others. John overtly lies to Catherine, intentionally interrupting her plans. His choice to do so reveals that he is not only a braggart but an outright liar. His goal of having Catherine's attention and her presumed fortune should he marry her are such that he has no hesitation at manipulating her, lying to her, and disregarding her wishes entirely.

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