Okay, so I’m not talking about that kind of hero. George RR Martin said “we are all the heroes of our own stories” and how true? I mean, we are after all the centers of our own worlds. At the beginning of Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen says “No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her.” Of course, here Austen is mocking the traditional heroine in novels, but what I like about Catherine is that she is rather ordinary. But that is the reality in our own lives. I am not anything special, yet I am still the center of my own world. This is what I need to realize. No matter what the sociopathic ex-boyfriend did or said, I am in control of my life. I don’t need a man to come and save me. And certainly Catherine didn’t either.
The Transcendentalists believed that we are all “minds of Gods” walking around. So while we might be our own heroes and the centers of our world, we need to understand that other people are thinking the same thing about themselves. It makes me sick the way that people treat each other. The sociopath at times would verbally abuse me. He would prey upon my deepest insecurities and expose them in subtle ways that I am just now beginning to understand. He did not treat me as though I was a hero. Instead, he was (and still is) selfish. He brought the girl to MY house when I was out of town and had sex with her, violating everything I stand for and believe. We are all heroes in our own stories, but we must treat each other with respect and dignity.
I think Catherine’s main issue is that she fails to realize she is a hero so she imagines situations that are dangerous or violent. In short, she wants excitement, but what she doesn’t realize is that she doesn’t really want those things. Sure it’s easy to pretend you are something you are not. Sure it’s easy to fantasize that your life is better. But ultimately, it is your life and you can make the decision to change it if necessary. The white knight is not going to come riding on his horse to save us. Darcy is not going to emerge from the pond in a dripping wet white shirt to enamor us. I realize that it is up to me to make my own life worth living. It is hard, and the road to recovering from being a victim is long. I regressed quite a bit last weekend. Then I was mad at myself for regressing. But I am trying and that is what matters. I will be my own hero. I don’t have super-powers, and I am just an ordinary person, like Catherine Morland, but I will succeed in the end (and maybe, just maybe end up with a great guy like Catherine did!). So just ask yourself, how are you your own hero? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In addition, I am thinking I will do one more post on Northanger Abbey (I need to look at the male characters a little more) and then I will move onto Emma, which is one of my favorites!