Novel Named Emma (Jane Austen)
The story, Emma, by Jane Austen, is a riveting tale about a heroine who through her determined will to assist others, realizes and attains her own dreams and desires. The story begins with 21 year old, Emma Woodhouse struggling with the loss of her governess of 16 years and a truly dear friend, Miss Taylor. Miss Taylor recently wedded Mr. Weston and moved half a mile away from the Woodhouses' residence at Hartfield.
In Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, protagonist Emma avoids her own transformation by her attempts to transform others. However, Emma experiences her coming-of-age through the stable characters of those around her. Austen reveals how self-transformation is necessary in maturing and establishing self-awareness. Emma Woodhouse possesses qualities that many would envy: beauty, intelligence, wealth, and youth. However, the positive aspects of Emma are equally contrasted by her personality. The novels begins with a description of the protagonist, "The real evils, indeed, of Emma 's situation were the power of having too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself: these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments." (Austen 1). Having a conceited nature, she only tolerates following her own advice, as well as frequently acting upon her instincts regardless of the consequences, especially when it comes to match-making. Emma believes that she is able to match any two people whom she deems compatible.
Her immature and static nature of meddling with other people’s issues leads her to speculate and conclude that Jane is in love with Dixon. The reader thinks that Emma would change her behavior as she grows up; unfortunately, she is not set to accept dynamism and accept people the way they are, more so accepting the way she is. Instead of taking time to evaluate herself and know what she wants, she falls in love with Frank because everyone else thinks that theirs is a perfect couple (DailyLit para. 5). Because of her static nature and inability to make mature decisions, she only loves Knightly after realizing that he likes Harriet. “It darted through her with the speed of an arrow that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself” (Austen 375).other people. It is the greatest amusement in the world!” (Austen 7). Her view of interfering in others lives as "amusing" supports Emma 's feelings of superiority over those around her. In the novel, Emma is often shown as being similar to characters who share the same selfish nature as her, such as Frank Churchill and Mrs. Elton. But, what isolates Emma is not her sense superiority, but her longing to feel superior; she is not able to be apart of a relationship where she is not placed first (Thaden).
In sum, discrimination based on gender restricted the future prospects of most women to either marry or go into a low paying job with no social status or financial security. Lack of moral relativity, even in the best of characters, shows how much intellectual depth was missing from the society at that time of the century. Emma paints an ugly picture of nineteenth century Britain in terms of liberty and intellectual capacity in the general population.
Aiken, Lorraine. “Emma.” 2009. Web.
Austen, Jane. “Emma.” Banes and Noble classics: New York, 2001.
Austen-Leigh, Edward. “A Memoir of Jane Austen.” 1926. Ed. R. W. Chapman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967.
DailyLit. “Emma.” 2009. Web.
Millar, Martin and Mackichan, Doon. “Jane Austen’s Emma.” 2001. Web.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Emma.” SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Web.