Critical essays on emma

Emma is ruled by her place in society and restricted to certain social standards that include everything from conduct to clothing and social events. Apart from her willful deviations from the strict code in the instances of her matchmaking, Emma finds herself confined within her class restrictions, although she inwardly rebels by refusing to marry. There are times when class status is abused or taken for granted as when Emma openly humiliates Miss Bates.

Critical essays on emma

Although Pride and Prejudice has always been her most popular novel, Emma is generally regarded as her greatest.

Sample Essay Outlines

In this work of her maturity, she deals once more with the milieu she preferred: Emma Woodhouse, pretty and clever, lives in a world no bigger than the village of Highbury and a few surrounding estates; in that small world, the Woodhouse family is the Critical essays on emma important.

In the blind exercise of her power over Highbury, she involves herself in a series of ridiculous errors, mistakenly judging that the Reverend Philip Elton cares for Harriet Smith rather than for her; Frank Churchill for her rather than for Jane Fairfax; Critical essays on emma for Frank rather than for George Knightley; and Knightley for Harriet rather than for her.

Emma is convinced that she has no equals in Highbury. She must accomplish all this without abandoning her self-esteem and intelligence, her father, or society. The author prepares for the possibility of a resolution from the beginning, especially by establishing Knightley as the standard of maturity for which Emma must strive.

Emma is always somewhat aware of his significance, and she often puts her folly to the test of his judgment. There are brief, important occasions when the two, united by instinctive understanding, work together to create or restore social harmony; however, it is not until Harriet presumes to think of herself as worthy of his love that Emma is shocked into recognizing that Knightley is superior to her as well as to Harriet.

She is basically deficient in human sympathy, categorizing people as second or third rank in Highbury or analyzing them to display her own wit.

Emma Critical Essays -

She begins to develop a sensitivity, however, as she experiences her own humiliations. She regrets her rudeness to Miss Bates not only because Knightley is displeased but also because she herself perceives that she has been cruel. Far more, however, than merely a coming-of-age novel, Emma also examines the larger themes of community and class.

For example, there is no community between the gentry and the servant classes, except that demanded of landowners by noblesse oblige. The Coles, while visited by the Westons, are not part of the Hartfield community until they rise in the world sufficiently to socialize with the Woodhouses.

Those in the upper class may visit those of lower degree, but the less highborn must wait for an invitation to visit the homes of the rich, although they may associate with them in public places. Thus, Emma visits the homes of poor cottagers to bring soup and drops in on the Martin family as well as at the Bateses; however, these families do not come to Hartfield until invited.

Are the Coles of high enough degree to be able to properly invite a Woodhouse to their premises? We see the community sociality at work in Emma in the frequent visits Knightley makes to Hartfield to check on the Woodhouses and the Bateses, bringing occasional gifts of game or produce.

As the vicar, Elton visits the members of his parish, a duty shared by his wife, Augusta. Other neighbors bring food to the Bateses when Jane is ill. Weston is an indefatigable visitor and sharer of news and gossip, as he lets everyone know as soon as he receives letters from his son, Frank, and airs their contents as they pertain to mutual interests.

Miss Bates, while tedious, is still trying to perform her duty to the community by talking upon small matters and letting people know every piece of news about her niece, Jane. Those who are derelict in this social duty, including Frank, are viewed with dissatisfaction; Frank deceives people about his affairs.

Another derelict in social duty is Jane, who refuses to share her views or enter into the general interest in community relationships. Manners are very important to the Highbury community.

Visitors and new members are welcomed politely. Jane, Frank, and Mrs. Elton are treated warmly upon their arrival, despite private reservations such as those entertained by Emma and Mrs. The general civility of the community is considered so important that when Emma ruptures it with her ill-natured insult of Miss Bates at Box Hill, Knightley takes steps to let her know of her gaffe, and she corrects it as soon as she can, aware of the necessity for courtesy and amity among neighbors.

Knightley, the community watchdog, also points out to Emma that she is being insufficiently friendly to Jane. Other members of the community ignore insults to maintain good feeling, such as when the Martins continue to be kind to Harriet even following her Emma-instigated snobbery and her refusal of Robert.

Austen ridicules, punishes, and otherwise disparages characters in Emma who insufficiently carry out the obligations of neighborliness, just as much as she castigates characters who display flaws of moral character. Indeed, the two failings are often conflated in this novel, which does not contain dastardly villains so much as people who ignore or misread their responsibilities to the commonweal.

The other antagonists are Elton, who feeds his own social and pecuniary ambitions by disparaging Harriet, a disadvantaged member of the community he has an obligation to foster; and his wife, Augusta, who attempts to further community goals in befriending Jane and in organizing socials, but who also unwisely ignores the tacit rules of class decorum that demand she submit to those above her in the social hierarchy.

To Austen, these offenses that affect community sociality are more heinous than the external threats of poultry theft and outsider predation.Emma by Jane Austen - About the Author Jane Austen was born on December 16, at Steventon, England.

She was the seventh child of the rector of the parish at Steventon, and lived with her family until they moved to Bath when her father retired in Essays and criticism on Jane Austen's Emma - Critical Essays.

Critical essays on emma

Emma, Jane Austen (Critical Essays) [Linda Cookson, Bryan Loughrey] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This series aims to introduce students to a wide variety of critical opinion and to show students, by example.

Critical Essays Point of View in Emma Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Only thus can we be convinced that Emma's character really blends honesty and goodwill with its negative qualities; it is thus too that we can best view the effects of emotion rather than dwell upon climactic emotion itself.

Emma: The Character Essay example - Emma Woodhouse, who begins the novel "handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition" (Austen 1), suffers from a dangerous propensity to play matchmaker, diving into other’s lives, for what she believes is their own good.

Critical Essays Point of View in Emma Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Only thus can we be convinced that Emma's character really blends honesty and goodwill with its negative qualities; it is thus too that we can best view the effects of emotion rather than dwell upon climactic emotion itself.

Emma Critical Essays -