Jade's Reviews > Emma

Emma by Jane Austen
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Nov 12, 11

Read in June, 2009

For an Austen novel, I thought Emma was a good coming of age story. Emma is not my favorite Austen novel because it lacks a spark for me, but this story is entertaining and well written in terms of multiple love triangles and foolishness. Emma starts out as the loquacious, popular busy body, but eventually grows into a mature young woman with the help of Mr. Knightley. She is lovable in her arrogance, yet frustrating, but I do love how she refuses to admit the truth to herself. Emma isn't a deep character but this flaw of being so ignorant of her own feelings gives her a depth and gives me something to relate to in this book.

I must say the hopeless romantic in me did devour the scene when Harriet discloses her real feelings for Knightley to Emma and Emma becomes insanely jealous because she realizes she loves him. I waited the entire book for Emma to have this epiphany, so when it finally happened I actually think I threw my arms in the air I was so happy and relieved. "Emma's eyes were instantly withdrawn; and she sat silently meditating, in a fixed attitude, for a few minutes. A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like her's, once opening into suspicion, made rapid progress. She touched--she admitted--she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, that with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet's having some hope of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley much marry no one but herself!" (914).

One aspect I like with the novels I've read so far from Austen is that she always has a foolish character and a noble character to counteract them (sometimes both characteristics within one person). The smarter character educates the more immature person and I like having both personalities to view. In the case of Emma, Knightley acts as her wiser guide and acts to help her become more mature. In my own writing I would like to incorporate this technique because it works very well, especially in stories with a maturing character. To be able to look at Austen as an example will greatly help my own character development.
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