Emma Woodhouse Essay

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Jane Austen, critically acclaimed English novelist, is known for her witty and elegantly structured satirical fiction. Born December 16, 1775, Jane Austen was the seventh of eight children, and was closest to older sister Claudia. "Her father was the parish rector in Steventon, and, though not wealthy, her family was well connected and well educated. Austen briefly attended boarding school in Reading but received the majority of her education at home. As a child, Austen was encouraged to write which allowed her to write her first novel Love and Friendship at the mere age of fourteen (“About Jane Austen”). Now, her work marks the transition from something to something else. Although Pride and Prejudice is Austen’s more popular work, her…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Austen mocks the social mannerisms of the characters and is able to poke at their flaws. Much of the irony in this novel derives from the narrator’s comments and tone allows Austen to expose her character’s misguided assumptions. For example, Emma’s lack of insight and her inability to see the truth of her own and other people’s situation creates the ironic tone of the novel. This is shown through Emma’s attempt to set up Harriet Smith and Mr. Elton and insisting that Mr. Martin is beneath Harriet in status, despite the warnings from Mr. Knightley. He is quick to point out that Mr. Elton is not a good match for Harriet and that Harriet should accept Mr. Martin’s proposal by saying, “What are Harriett Smith’s claims, either of birth, nature, or education, to any connection higher than Robert Martin? She is the natural daughter of nobody knows whom…” (Austen 56). So Emma believe she is helping Harriet, although her "help" actually causes problems for Harriet by raising her hopes of a marriage above her social station and making her unhappy after hearing that Mr. Elton is not interested in her. However, the main irony of the novel is that Emma’s preoccupation with playing matchmaker prevents her from realizing her love for Mr. Knightley. Only when she believes that Mr. Knightley and Harriet will marry, does she realize that she loves him. After trying so long to find a match for Harriet, she hopes that
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