Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

Emma
This topic is about Emma
108 views
Archive 2016 Group Reads > June 2016 → July 2016 - Emma by Jane Austen

Comments Showing 1-50 of 71 (71 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7563 comments Mod
Although convinced that she herself will never marry, Emma Woodhouse, a precocious twenty-year-old resident of the village of Highbury, imagines herself to be naturally gifted in conjuring love matches. After self-declared success at matchmaking between her governess and Mr. Weston, a village widower, Emma takes it upon herself to find an eligible match for her new friend, Harriet Smith.


message 2: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
I have been reading this book with another group and have really enjoyed Jane Austen's use of language and the twists and turns of the plot.


Kathy | 1212 comments I plan to participate and read Emma. Looking forward to it.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments I'll be your conversation leader for this book of the month, if you have a question don't hesitate to ask, or if you'd just like to share an opinion/theory. :)
Apparently this is a book many have read, who wants to read/reread it ?


message 5: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
Hi, Amelia. I am looking forward to our discussion.


message 6: by Lesle, Main Moderator/Admin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 7563 comments Mod
Thank you Amelia for being our discussion leader!


message 7: by Robin P (last edited Jun 17, 2016 04:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robin P Rosemarie wrote: "I have been reading this book with another group and have really enjoyed Jane Austen's use of language and the twists and turns of the plot."

I'm just finishing it with another group also, and it's not the first time I've read it. This is my favorite Jane Austen novel! it's maybe the most fun to read, without the long exposition in letters that bog down some of her other books.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments Jess wrote: "I read chapter 1. I love her dad! "Poor Miss Taylor!""

Her dad is hilarious ;) He never fails to amaze me.


message 9: by mollusskka (last edited Jun 19, 2016 04:28AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

mollusskka | 56 comments I just read chapter one and it is quite interesting. Looking forward to see the next story between Emma and Mr. Knightley. They seem to have a hidden hatred. I guess.


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments eKa wrote: "I just read chapter one and it is quite interesting. Looking forward to see the next story between Emma and Mr. Knightley. They seem to have a hidden hatred. I guess."

Their relationship is very interesting, but from what I actually remember, they don't really talk in /every chapter/.


mollusskka | 56 comments Oh, too bad. I want them fight with words hahaha. So i guess I just need to get going with my reading. Still haven't start chapter 2. I hope today.


message 12: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
eKa, you are going to meet some more interesting characters as you read the book. It is a longer book but I enjoyed it a lot.


mollusskka | 56 comments I enjoyed Persuasion by Jane Austen so I think I'll enjoy this one. Tonight I'll be reading chapter 2.


message 14: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
Enjoy!


Amélia (cruelleironie) | 21 comments Don't worry, you'll definitely have some 'word fights' as you go along !
The development of the characters is also definitely something you should pay attention to, as it's quite interesting :)


Robin P It's said that Austen was the first to use a 3rd person narrative while showing you what is going on inside Emma' head (even if Emma is mistaken about things at times). Before that, author either used 1st person or took an detached view.


mollusskka | 56 comments @Amelia Okay, can't wait to make a progress! A big one!

@Robin. Oh, really? That's cool! When I read Jane Austen, the description of the characters is so well-described. Austen just explain it all so the readers just have to go with it. While in most modern novel, the readers have to decide the character's personality.


mollusskka | 56 comments Chapter 6 is how far I can get. Sorry for being such a slow reader.

It's funny how people back then really really care about each other. Like how Emma tried to manage Harriet's life and also Mr. Knightley and Mrs. Weston had a different opinion about who should be Emma's friends.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
eKa, the threads stay open even when we start reading the next book. You can keep posting comments as long as you want.


message 20: by Kathy (last edited Jun 26, 2016 04:17PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathy | 1212 comments I've read ten chapters of Emma so far and am enjoying the language Austen uses to describe characters, places, and relationships among the characters. I am not fond of Emma or Harriet, but probably Austen intended the reader to feel this way. Emma thinks so highly of herself and seems to be so "off" on what is going on with Mr. Elton and Harriet Smith. (I'll find out if this is true, I'm sure!) Harriet just seems to not have a brain.

I did like Emma expounding on why she was not going to marry. I wonder if those were Austen's view of marriage??


message 21: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
I did a quick bit of research on Jane's love life. When she was quite young she fell in love with a young man whom she couldn't marry because he wasn't able to marry her due to his family and financial situation. He was poor and couldn't marry. She received a proposal of marriage a few years later, which she accepted and then changed her mind the next day. She couldn't marry him because she didn't love him.
I agree with Jane's description of the characters, etc. Her use of language is witty and at times quite sharp.
I read this book a long time ago and wasn't overly fond of it. This time I paid attention to the little details and loved it.
Her father is precious-such a worrier. He is lucky to have such a thoughtful daughter, even though in other respects she is quite silly, especially in the relationship with Harriet.


Kathy | 1212 comments Interesting, Rosemarie, about Jane Austen's love life. I just think it's amazing that she wrote this in the early 1800s!

I agree, Emma's father is quite the character. The way Austen describes him as thinking everyone else feels the same way he does on everything. The parts where he is trying to get people to not eat just because he cannot eat the foods himself are very funny.


Robin P There's a modern theory that Emma's father could be suffering from early symptoms of dementia, which would cause him to repeat himself and get fixated on certain ideas. (However, it seems he always was a hypochondriac and he trained one daughter to be the same way.) That is one good point about Emma, in spite of her shallowness in some areas, she is very patient with her father.


message 24: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
I don't know how much of the book some of you have read, so I just want to say that there some very entertaining and annoying minor characters in the book, in the second and third volumes, if your version of the novels is set up that way. The annoying character is female, and once you meet her you will know exactly who I mean.


message 25: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi (heymimi) | 87 comments I only just finished chapter 4 and so far, Emma's getting on my nerves with her predjudice and meddling, and I feel the urge to kick Harriet and tell her to start thinking for herself.

That being said, I'm actually enjoying the novel. Austens writing is engaging and her descriptions of the characters make them really come to live and evoke emotions (even though, for me, they're mostly negative).


message 26: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
I felt that way about Emma the first time I read the novel, too. Jane Austen does write well, and it is worthwhile to continue reading. There are many interesting characters that haven't appeared in the novel yet.


message 27: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi (heymimi) | 87 comments Oh, I'm definately reading on. I even set some time apart this weekend just to read (which is quite a luxury nowadays).


Kathy | 1212 comments Mimi wrote: "I only just finished chapter 4 and so far, Emma's getting on my nerves with her predjudice and meddling, and I feel the urge to kick Harriet and tell her to start thinking for herself.

That being..."


Mimi,
I felt the same way about Emma and Harriet throughout the first few chapters. Now I'm getting toward half way through and my attitude has changed toward Emma. She seems to learn her lessons! Harriet - she's still the same... I love the time period and setting of this book.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Mimi don't give up. It's a wonderful book.


message 30: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi (heymimi) | 87 comments Laurie wrote: "Mimi don't give up. It's a wonderful book."

I'm not giving up ;) (I hardly ever NOT finish a book, even if I don't like it).
But I do like this novel, just some of the characters aggravate me, but in a good way (if that makes any sense...)


message 31: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (last edited Jul 02, 2016 05:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
That is how I feel. I have quit reading mysteries if the description of the crimes gets too graphically gory or if I don't like any of the characters in a book.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes Mimi it totally makes sense. Happy reading!


Kathy | 1212 comments Jane Austen really understands human emotions and human nature. All of her characters express Austen's understanding of humans. Even though she may exaggerate characteristics--making some characters so "good" and others far less so, she seems to cover the whole range of human behavior.

I'm 3/4 of the way through the book now and am enjoying it a lot. I think it takes several chapters to get into the language of the book but after that it just flows.


message 34: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
Emma is one of her later works and it shows in her writing. She writes very expressively, once you get into it. It also took me awhile to get through the first volume, but once I got into volumes two and three I didn't want to stop reading. The scenes with the Eltons are good for some humourous passages, and it also opened Emma's eyes to how her behaviour might appear to others, with a few gentle hints from Mr.Knightly.


message 35: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
My daughter was a teenager when Clueless came out. I think I have watched it at least five times. It is funny!


message 36: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
One of my favourite scenes is when Elle discovers she is about to drive on the Freeway.


Kathy | 1212 comments Kimberley, I'll try Clueless. Sounds like fun.


Kathy | 1212 comments I finished Emma today. I love how Austen is humorous about people's "ways." Emma's matchmaking, Mr. Woodhouse's worries, Harriet's changeability.

I rated this 4 stars.


message 39: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
It struck me when I was reading the book that Emma was becoming more aware of how her behaviour affected others, and that meddling (Harriet) and mocking ( Miss Bates) were a sign of immaturity and selfishness. Emma "grew up" in the course of the book. This was a reread for me and I enjoyed it much more the second time around.


Robin P What's great about Clueless is that just like the book, it captures the heroine's essentially good heart but unthinkingly selfish behavior. I would have thought the issue of class wouldn't apply today but it certainly does in this movie. It's really clever how the different sections of the book are translated into modern equivalents.


message 41: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
Jess, your comment about her writing could be considered another aspect of a classic. At one level, the story itself is intersesting. At a higher level, she gently mocks the manners of her society and makes us think. As for Clueless, it is a fun movie and true to the spirit of the book, IMO.
There is a scene in the movie where all the high school kids are talking to each other via cell-phone, and this is years before everyone had one.


Robin P If you have finished the book, don't miss this wonderful post on how Emma changed one reader's life

https://austenprose.com/2012/01/06/re...

I love this example of the power of fiction!


message 43: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
I am always glad when people discover the joys of reading fiction. Not only is Emma an interesting story, it is also a fun way to learn about the society of the time.
I liked many of the characters in Emma,especially her father. Some of the scenes with Mr. Knightly at the end of the book were very funny, for example when be finally realized that she wasn't in love with someone else.
The character that drove me crazy was Mrs. Elton. I cringed whenever she talked about her sister's house and especially when she referred to Mr. Knightley as plain Knightley. Of course, there are still people like her in the world today.


message 44: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda (rcravey) I am listening to Emma on Audible and really enjoying it. I just got to the part where Mrs. Elton is introduced. Yes, very annoying person. I had a hard time getting into the book at first and not sure I would have kept reading if it was a book rather than the Audible version. The reader is exceptional. Anxious to watch Clueless after finishing the book.


message 45: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
As the novel progresses, the plot becomes more interesting and so does Emma. I almost didn't read Emma since I had read it a long time ago and didn't like it very much. After reading it with another group, I realized that I likes it and that Jane Austen's writing was subtle, crafty and witty.


message 46: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi (heymimi) | 87 comments I'm still not even halfway through this novel, I've rather been struggeling and finding I have to force myself to read on.
(I've been reading & watching loads of other stuff, just so I could avoid this novel, it seems...)

I thought it might be a language problem, that I was missing something since English isn't my first language.
So I just finished watched the movie (the 1996 one, with Gwyneth Paltrow).

Turns out it is not a language issue, I just have an incredible dislike for most of the characters in this novel, and little to none new information is altering my opinion of them it seems.

Jane Austen's writing is brilliant, and her character descriptions are amazing, especially since they evoke such a strong emotional connection in me (even though it's dislike...)

I'm making it a personal point of pride to finish this novel, however.


message 47: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
If you persevere, you will notice a change in Emma. I have not see the movie, but in a discussion of this book with another group, they commented on the fact that the Gwyneth P. version of the movie was not particularly true to the book.
Not to give away too much, all's well that ends well.
One of Emma's most positive characteristics is the care and affection she shows to her father.
I didn't care for the novel all that much the first time I read it, but liked it much more the second time around.
The only character that is constantly annoying is Mrs. Elton.


message 48: by Mimi (last edited Jul 25, 2016 06:43PM) (new) - added it

Mimi (heymimi) | 87 comments The movie did cut short the first part of the book, but wasn't inaccurate (of course, I still have to read half of the novel).

I'd say the care for her father is her only good characteristic. The way she's meddling in other people's lives is off-putting. She says it's for their own good, and she might believe that, but she's really doing it out of self-importance and under the guise of 'people, look at me, I'm so benevolent and good'. If she wasn't so self-absorbed, she'd notice how she's condemming Harriet's life.
Harriet doesn't have the right pedigree and to encourage her to seek a man so high above her own station is just plain cruel, especially since Harriet doesn't have the personality or good sense to make a good wife to anybody with a better social position than Mr Martin.
Emma keeps creating heartache for Harriet, first by having her turn down the man that really loves her, then convincing her Mr Elton is interested in her, later suggestion she has a chance with Mr Churchill and so on (I do know how it's going to end and who ends up with whom, but still.)

Yes, Mrs Elton is annoying, but she's who she is, and she's jockeying for her place in society. Besides, she's a second choice (and probably well aware of that), and Mr Elton isn't a great catch. She doesn't bother me as much as Emma's false sainthood.

It's weird. I loved Pride and Prejudice, and I remember reading Sense & sensability and Mansfield Park in translation almost 2 decades ago and liked them too.

Edit: sorry for the rant, I haven't realized until now just how much this affects me.


message 49: by Rosemarie, Moderator III/ from Canada / YA Classics (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 11290 comments Mod
It's amazing how Jane Austen is still able to reach us and cause strong reactions. She writes amazingly well. It appears to be simple, but there is much subtlety there. This is one of her later books, and actually not that much happens to Emma. As you say, she meddles in people's lives. I don't know if your copy of the novel is in volumes 1,2 and 3 or chapters. The third volume is my favourite part of the book.
It took me years to realize that I didn't have to finish a book. And there are books for different moods and even different seasons.
What is good about book discussion groups on line is that everyone has a chance to give their point of view, and to agree to disagree about a particular book.
If I were to rate Jane Austen's books in order of preference they would be Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and Emma, then Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park.
Many people love P and P but there are many parts of it that really annoy me.


Kathy (kathywillow) | 34 comments I am still struggling through this book. It just is not drawing me in, as much as I'd like it to. I think it's because I really do not like Emma. Her life is quite shallow to me. I can only read one chapter at a time, and I start drifting off....but I will persevere!
And I completely agree with you Rosemarie, about Mrs. Elton!


« previous 1
back to top