Essay Emma: The Character

2155 Words 9 Pages
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. Despite this, she is a sympathetic character. Her matchmaking leads only to near-disasters and her expressions of remorse following these mistakes are sincere and resolute. Jane Austen's Emma concerns the social milieu of a sympathetic, but flawed young woman whose self-delusion regarding her flaws is gradually erased through a series of comic and ironic events.
The events which serve to refine Emma are witnessed and commented upon by Mr. Knightly, a man who serves at the start of the novel
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Harriet is in love with Robert Martin, but Emma tells her it is inappropriate to like him, and so, Harriet attempts to keep Emma’s respect and breaks relations with Robert Martin. Emma tries to make Harriet a match with Mr. Elton, who is madly in love with Emma; also with Mr. Frank Churchill, who married Jane and flirted with Emma. Finally, Harriet thought she had fallen in love with Mr. Knightly after she felt completely detached from Mr. Elton. And by the end of the novel, Emma realized and professed her love for Mr. Knightly and they married. Then, Harriet parted from Emma and sought Robert Martin’s offer for marriage. Essentially, throughout the novel, Emma matures from a clever young woman to a more modest and considerate woman.
Whether Harriet and Robert make a perfect match is not a concern in Emma’s opinion, her only worry is marrying the right guy, for her and her friends.
Emma is preparing Harriet for society, she adopts the role of Harriet’s mentor to instruct her in life choices, which is not very difficult with Harriet, who is easily manipulated. Emma has another suitor in mind for Harriet, and her pride will not give in to any other option. This second suitor then turns his attentions to Emma, and she is horrified. Her purposes are being destroyed by others' autonomy. Emma is too ignorant to fully understand why Harriet and Mr. Elton do not want each other. She likes to take the credit
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