chapter  3
16 Pages

Emotional and Imperial Topographies

Mapping Feeling in “Catharine, or the Bower”
WithAna-Karina Schneider

This chapter presents the various narrative strategies—letters, verbal accounts by characters, direct descriptions by the narrator— and modes. The place names in the fragment are no longer meant merely to suggest adventures; rather, they carry an awareness that journeys and distances may involve and signify loss, separation and a degree of emotional mobility and adaptability. Jane Austen is routinely referred to as a writer of enclosed spaces, as Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar note somewhat testily in the opening of the section devoted to her in The Madwoman in the Attic. The perception of Austen's characters as confined and immobile, pursuing parlor intrigues, is, however, deceptive, and their mobility is inextricably connected with socialization. In addition to geographical locations, the 16-year-old authoress perceives the metaphoric potential of the newly specialized spaces within the home and grounds.