How Does The Direct Characterization Of Emma

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In Jane Austen's "Emma", the characterization of the titular protagonist overshadows that of the deurotagonist, Harriet. Whereas Harriet's traits are directly described to be traits that any other person could easily possess as well, Emma is indirectly characterized by her uniqueness, in the sense that she shares a strong bond with Harriet, and knows much about her that others do not. Specifically, via targeted diction, the inclusion and/or omission of important detail, syntax, and point of view, Austen establishes the position of her central protagonist, and evaluates her from her own perspective in the context of the novel.

Diction contributes inseparably to the characterization of both Emma and Harriet, and hence Austen's prioritization of the character traits of Emma. In paragraph one, Emma is described as "[knowing Harriet] very well by sight", and having "long felt an interest in [her] on account of her beauty". Thus, it follows that Emma has long admired and taken an interest in Harriet, which implies a strong connection between the two. Though Emma herself is not described in exhaustive detail, all of Harriet's traits transfer over to her, as well as her own details that add to her personal character. From paragraph two onward, the author …show more content…

Though the characterizations of both Emma and Harriet are undoubtedly crucial to the development of meaning and purpose in the passage, that of Emma assumes greater importance and overall relevance, due to the narrator's seemingly direct ties with Emma as opposed to Harriet, the distinct division of the paragraphs accordingly with their emphases of Emma's and Harriet's internal and external traits, the inclusion of detail regarding Emma's passions and the exclusion of detail regarding Harriet's background, other than the fact that she has had unfavorable acquaintances in the past, and the specific diction used to establish tone in characterizing Emma's fervent desire to influence Harriet's views of

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