Jane Austen's "Emma" - Character Analysis of Protagonist

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Emma Woodhouse: Awake or Dreaming? A dream. A world where ideas run wild and imagination is the primary mode of thought. Reality is a faraway distance. Eventually, the dream comes to an end as reality creeps into sleep and the fantasy finishes. The story of Jane Austen’s Emma is one of a similar account. Emma Woodhouse, the main character, has an active imagination that causes her to loose sight of reality like getting lost in dreaming. Her imagination and “disposition to think a little too well of herself” causes Emma to be emotionally arrogant and skews her perception of other characters (Austen, 1). Throughout the novel, Emma struggles to develop emotionally because her dream-derived visions of those around her and her obsession with…show more content…
Emma also allows herself to get consumed in the expectations that linger in regard to her relationship with Frank Churchill. Since the initial anticipation of Franks visit, Emma had many strong “suspicions of what might be expected from their knowing each other, which had taken strong possession of her mind” (124). Due to the image Emma creates in her mind of an intimate relationship between her and the acclaimed Mr. Churchill, “[s]he felt immediately that she should like him” (123). Emma even convinces herself of having intimate feelings for him, which are yielded not from her true feelings but instead of her creative method of rationality. With this idea of Frank consuming her mind, reality becomes further misinterpreted. She succeeds convinces herself that Frank is in love with her as “[h]er imagination had given him; the honor, if not being really in love with her, of being at least very near it” (133). Emma’s spiral of imagination continues causing her to “entertain no doubt of her being in love” (171). The uncertainty of her emotions proves Emma’s lack of attunement to herself as well as her distorted perception of their relationship. Soon enough Emma’s restless personality tires of Frank and she reports that “[h]er own attachment had really subsided into a mere nothing” (205). Her subsequent concerns for hurting Frank are eventually learned to be erroneous because while Emma has apparently allowed for Frank to fall in love with her, it is revealed that he
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