counter create hit Emma (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #38] - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Emma (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #38]

Availability: Ready to download

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.


Compare
Ads Banner

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.

30 review for Emma (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #38]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    Loved it! Why don't I read more classics?! I'll definitely need to read her other books. The BBC tv show was also adorable!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    “I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.” Personally, I may have lost my self-control, but not my heart. My motivation to read this book stemmed from J.K. Rowling stating that this was one of her favourite books. A few years ago I read my first Jane Austen, which was Pride and Prejudice, and I really enjoyed it. I thought Emma couldn't be that bad, it's a popular classic and its rating is good. To be honest, it's not bad, exactly, but the fact that it took me one whole month to get throu “I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.” Personally, I may have lost my self-control, but not my heart. My motivation to read this book stemmed from J.K. Rowling stating that this was one of her favourite books. A few years ago I read my first Jane Austen, which was Pride and Prejudice, and I really enjoyed it. I thought Emma couldn't be that bad, it's a popular classic and its rating is good. To be honest, it's not bad, exactly, but the fact that it took me one whole month to get through it says a lot. I had lots and lots of problems with this novel. 1. Emma Such a vain and arrogant main character. I mean, I know she is supposed to be an unlikeable character for literary reasons. But that doesn't make it any easier. 2. Miss Bates Why bother wasting so much ink and paper on nonsense. Numerous pages of nonsense. 3. They way people are Wait. Let me guess. That character is - wait for it - pleasant? The nicest person in the world? Of such sweet disposition? So generous, exceptional, kind, satisfactory and pleasant. Please save me. 4. The way people talk Hours could go by and Emma and her father could talk about nothing but the pig they owned and had slaughtered, and what they'll make of it for dinner, and how nice it was that they gave some of it to the Bates, and if it was the right part of the pig they gave away, or if they should have given something else, but no it is all fine and pleasant, and that was very generous of them, and they will surely be very gracious, since they gave away such fine piece of pork, and won't dinner be nice and kick me on the shin pleasant. 5. The plot Scratch 300 pages of nonsense and nervewracking pleasantness and this could have been a book I enjoyed. Find more of my books on Instagram

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a book about math, mirrors and crystal balls, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Village life? Sorta. The lives of the idle rich? I mean, sure, but only partially and incidentally. Romance? Barely. A morality tale of the Education of Young Lady? The young lady stands for and does many more important things than that. These things provide the base of the novel, the initial bolt of fabric, the first few lines of a drawing that set the limits of the author to writing about these thous This is a book about math, mirrors and crystal balls, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Village life? Sorta. The lives of the idle rich? I mean, sure, but only partially and incidentally. Romance? Barely. A morality tale of the Education of Young Lady? The young lady stands for and does many more important things than that. These things provide the base of the novel, the initial bolt of fabric, the first few lines of a drawing that set the limits of the author to writing about these thousand things rather than the other million things that lie outside those lines. They are the melody to which the symphony will return again and again, but with variations so you’ll never quite hear it again with perfect simplicity. You just have to recognize them to be able to understand the rest of the piece. And that is all. The melody is never the point- the point is everything that comes in between each time it repeats, which then dictates why the repetition is different the next time it all plays out. You can’t just tune out everything that comes in between. Because then you’ll miss the story about math, mirrors and crystal balls. I missed it the first time around, and I’m sort of upset that I did, because this part of the story is way more engaging. Let’s talk math first. First time I ever wanted to do that without moaning with boredom, so already, points, JA! Austen’s work sets up fascinating equations that keep building and building on top of each other until you get one of those fantastically scary creations that cover the entire wall of a room where the genius who wrote it all out is leaping up and down, exhausted, all, “Eureka! I’ve done it!” only in this case, the genius can actually explain it to you in a way that makes her efforts seem worth it. Once you understand the first couple operations of the equation, then it’s easy to see where the next ones come from. But to bring it down out of the world of the abstract what I mean is that I think Austen is absolutely brilliant at decoding every little minute detail of the duties, privileges, guilts, obligations, and routines that go into human relationships. Just like how in math if you add instead of multiply in one part of an equation it screws the whole thing, Austen shows us why one simple infraction of this delicate balance in relationships is such a major drama and can screw the whole thing for you. Yes, it’s one simple action, and no matter how justified it is that you forgot one thing amongst the fifty things you’re supposed to do, your answer is wrong and all the other correct work you did is completely invalidated. Red mark. Final. You’re wrong, and you know it and everyone knows it and to put this in Sorkinese you just have to stand there in your wrongness and be wrong. She reveals the little town of Highbury- or even really just the upper echelons of its ruling class- to be a labyrinth of constant choices where there are fifteen steps that one has to go through to narrow down your options. This is where its sort of about village life in that you can’t just do a straight cost-benefit analysis in any direct way because you will have to deal with the consequences of that action every day and it will materially affect your life in way that you can’t avoid like you could with a more anonymous society, or one in which people moved around more. Of course there isn’t as much action as other novels. It takes so much time to get through the lead up and the aftermath of every decision, and every time you skimp on any of it, it comes back to bite you in the ass. When Emma tries to go out to dinner, depending on the situation she’s got a different set of a million questions to answer and/or tasks to complete. When it’s the one where she goes over to a couple’s house who are “in trade” and therefore her social inferiors, she’s got to come up with formulas that a) make it okay for her to want to be invited in the first place, b) make it okay for her to want to refuse it, then simultaneously c) make it okay for her to want to accept it, then d) figure out a way to see to her invalid father’s comfort (she has to ask him to go, go through a whole thing where she tries to persuade him even though she knows he won’t and shouldn’t come, then she arranges a dinner party for him while she’s out, then she has to arrange that those coming will be comfortable because her father has a tendency to starve people at dinner because he thinks he’s helping them be healthy) then e) make sure that she’ll be received in a style that befits her (she is invited to dinner while “the lesser females”- the term Austen uses- are only invited later in the evening), then f) finally practically arrange for herself to get there and get home which you would think would really be the only thing to worry about the first place. Even when she’s going out to dinner with her best friends down the street, she’s still got to worry about her father’s comfort, the harmony of her difficult family relationships, and who is conveying who by what carriage and why. She has a confrontational thing with Mr. Knightley outside when he comes on his horse rather than in his carriage, which is made worse in that it follows up the reveal that he only used his carriage to go to the other party to convey the “lesser females”, which is actually a big plot point that the whole thing turns on. Mrs. Weston thinks that for Knightley to be so thoughtful he must be in love with Jane, but no, Mr. Knightley just understands math better than anyone and comes up with the right answer more times than anyone as well. I think it’s interesting that its brought up several times that Emma is always “meaning to read more” or improve herself to live up to the model of Jane that is always before her (the character who is perhaps only second to Mr. Knightley in coming up with the right answer, and even then she’s more impressive about it since she’s doing it with the handicap of having made a conventionally bad decision before the opening of the action), but doesn’t. I entirely understand it because I think she does meticulous enough work every day to make her household and relationships function in the way that they do. I mean, think about it. How many of these people are really suited to be living in such close quarters, where they are forced into repeated contact? Almost none of them. I think this really helps to explain one of the reasons why she befriends Harriet- she’s outside the equation, an X factor that Emma can throw in that might open up new possibilities, which might allow for different and more exciting things than seem currently possible with the options open to her. Her whole arc with Frank Churchill is sort of the same thing in that it represents another kind of escape from how hemmed in she is. He represents really the only person to whom she can really interact as an equal- someone to whom she doesn’t really have any obligations other than to enjoy herself and speak in a way that is not controlled by what she should be saying or should be doing. He’s not a total X factor in that he’s been mapped into the social hierarchy of the village even in his absence, but the way he’s been mapped means he’s been marked out for Emma. The way in which he’s thought of sort of gives her permission to think of him as belonging to her in a way that allows her to think and act selfishly in a manner that she mostly recognizes as wrong (hence why she almost immediately realizes that she’s not in love with him and would never marry him) but which is also a sweet relief. But that’s why the two golden children can’t be together. If they were, the math of obligations and ties and duties and privileges would be upset in a way that would rend asunder the balance of life in a way that could never be repaired. When Emma and Frank Churchill end up together, you end up with the 2008 banking crisis and Occupy Wall Street. Their choice to be together might have represented a choice that would have set them “free” in many ways, but free to be lesser than they could be or should be. It’s interesting to me that Austen had Knightley and Jane (her models of what it means to make correct choices, remember) step back to let Frank and Emma make that choice, and then we see how violently both characters freak out about having the higher, better models of humanity removed from them. Those two characters don’t want each other, because honestly at the base of it all, math motivates us- math gives us reasons to get up and move and do it again. Frank and Emma know they can’t do anything for each other- they could only live in self satisfied ease, beauty and comfort, and that’s not enough. Mirrors and crystal balls are the complement of this math. They’re always haunting the background of all the choices that are made in the novel. Austen is pretty methodical and amazing in how she’s able to make the whole novel a Hall of Mirrors that justifies the title of Emma even better than the fact that she is the main character. Most of the people in the town represent what Emma is and what she is not, and even more importantly, who she could be and who she is afraid she’ll be. Austen brings this out most consciously in the comparison to Miss Bates- who is not coincidentally Emma’s mortal enemy and bête noire. Emma has a conversation with Harriet where the scary specter of her turning into Miss Bates is discussed, and she outlines everything she feels makes her different from Miss Bates. For someone who turns up her nose at people in trade and prosperous farmers, she must have surprised herself by making her main point that she is rich and Miss Bates is poor and then having all other differences proceed from that. I don’t think its coincidental that Miss Bates is perhaps the most memorable character from the whole novel-she’s allowed to ramble on in conversations to the point where it almost seems like we’re experiencing Emma’s nightmare, not an actual person. Nor is it surprising that its Miss Bates she finally acts out on when she loses her shit- of all the equations and all the math she’s done in sorting out her life, Miss Bates is the one constant, loud, obnoxious reminder of the fact that not only is it possible that she’s added instead of multiplied, its possible that just like Miss Bates, math rather than affection will be all she has to rely on. Her second nightmare mirror is Jane Fairfax, and I think it’s definitely not an accident that Jane is essentially the creation of Miss Bates for most of the novel, who seems to (at least from Emma’s perspective) be actively trying to create the creature most designed to make Emma feel insecure, a person who exists to annoy her and slap her down at every turn, and all in such a sweet guise that there’s no way for Emma to slay the dragon- she just has to let it come at her again and again for her entire life. Emma spends most of the book reacting against, too, and around the mirror of Jane- and by whom she thinks that other people judge her, although this doesn’t seem to be the case. Much like with Frank, Jane is the natural person to be classed with Emma, by mathematical equation (age, sex, education, social class), but unlike Frank, Jane doesn’t have the potential to set Emma free. Instead Emma feels further hemmed in by her, almost until the point of suffocation, because it seems like people are telling her that she should be the incarnation of the math, which Emma hates. I think that’s what the whole “one cannot love a reserved person,” thing that repeats the whole novel was about. Yes, you should strive after the right answer as much as possible, and it always has to be there in your head, but you can’t let it rule you. You have to be brave enough to be a person sometimes, too, which is all Emma’s about and all she keeps saying the whole novel. Jane is the total opposite of that. Mrs. Elton is another mirror, with an exaggerated version of Emma’s pride and classism (which Emma usually ends up setting aside, but its always there). Harriet is some fascinatingly complex thing in her psyche where she’s simultaneously this self-hating symbol of what she thinks other people think of her (in that Harriet is the opposite of that) and perhaps also some twisted martyr like version of what she thinks of herself. Mrs. Weston is an idol, which could make her the same sort of suffocating symbol as Jane, but she escapes from that by being in another class and age that cannot be compared to Emma, and through her unconditional love. Other characters also reflect to each other and therefore back onto Emma again as well. The two Knightley brothers, to each other and to the other men of the village, Mr. Weston to Mr. Woodhouse and Mr. Woodhouse to Mr. Knightley and back again, and so on in a round, but it all comes back to Emma. The book actually reminded me of the feeling that I had towards the end of Madame Bovary, which was odd. That was also a book about living in tight spaces, which seemed to get smaller and smaller whenever you turned, and where the escapes offered to you seemed to have something lacking from them. I was gasping for air by the time that they got to Box Hill, which is I think exactly what Austen intends. But this Emma is not like that Emma. That Emma ignored the math more and more. She wasn’t breaking the rules so much as she was proposing an entirely different game. Austen’s Emma commits an infraction, but still recognizes the rules and the game and the players and has no desire to change them. Ultimately, I think the turning point is Emma realizing that she isn’t locked in the closet at all and she never was. I think there’s so much deception and hidden secrets because and misunderstandings because Emma needs to realize, again and again, that the labyrinth she’s built for herself is of her own making, and bears little to no relation to reality, and it’s damn good thing that it doesn’t. She has to get out of her own head and the crazy garden of fears, paranoias and dreams she’s created there and realize that it doesn’t matter whether she’s the fairest of them all or not. What matters is keeping intact the equation that’s lead to the right answer so often that she’s gotten careless about remembering that it still matters that she does it right, even when she’s moved on to calculus and imaginary equations. I’ve always related to Emma Woodhouse more than any of Austen’s other heroines, and this reading did not change that feeling. I still think she changes and grows in incredible amounts, in ways that make sense to me and seem genuine. I still want to hang out with her, and I’d still love to be a fly on the wall in her therapy sessions (you know if that weren’t a terrible thing to do) because I feel like she would help me to express a lot of things I feel myself- which she does every time I read this novel. Every once in awhile I come back to the question of why Austen thought others wouldn’t like her. I’ve decided at this point its because I think that her other heroines represent a type or statement of some kind that Austen was reacting to or working through, whereas Emma I think isn’t evocative of anything so sympathetic or recognizable in the symbolic universe. She seems like the most messy, true to life, screwed up, actual person that Austen wrote about. That’s not to say that the other heroines aren’t realistic, they are, but just that they’re tied up with these other languages and ideas and conversations in a way that Emma isn’t. She’s just sort of… this girl who’s trying to be a person and that’s all. She’s maybe the most modern in that respect. I don’t think I am expressing this well. Whatever, she’s still my Austen bestie. That is the important point here. Anyway, this is unbelievably long at this point so I’ll just offer an executive summary of my above points here: Whatevs, haters. JA, FTW! <} 4EVA!! * * * Original Review:This is one of the Holy Trinity of Austen (yes, I just made that up). And in my opinion, deservedly so. Emma is far and away the heroine that I identify the most with of all the Austen women. Jane Austen thought that nobody would like her when she wrote Emma... except maybe she underestimated how many people have things in common with her. She has so many deep flaws that are so easy to completely hate, but she means so very well, and is really a deeply caring person. She just has absolutely no self awareness yet, and has not matured enough to change her opinions when faced with opposition. Here is where she learns how. It reminded me so much of myself at a certain age, and even on some level right now. She's a snob, she's rather a bitch at times, she's condescending, and not all that perceptive. But I just love her anyway. Perhaps because I used to or still have those characteristics and want to believe that even those people will learn and deserve love in the end, even from a Mr. Knightley. But also, I think, because Austen creates her so sympathetically, that it's hard not to love her. This book explains motivations a lot more than in the others, and one gets a few sides of the story of errors towards the end of the book, as everything is set completely right again. I liked that, that she didn't let it go, but tied up all her threads to her readers' satisfaction. Or at least mine. PS- The Gwen Paltrow/Jeremy Northam movie? My first Austen movie. Got me into the genre, really. I think it's fantastic, and very sweet, and Jeremy Northam is perfectly well cast. Also: you'll see Ewan McGregor with an awful haircut, looking completely unattractive. It's kind of funny.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Austen paints a world of excess. She’s just so fucking brilliant. That much so I found the need to swear. The sarcasm is just oozing out of her words. She doesn’t need to tell you her opinions of society: she shows them to you. Simply put, Emma’s farther is a ridiculous prat. There’s no other word for it. He spends his day lounging around eating rich and expensive food and doesn’t bother to exercise his body or mental faculties. The thought of visiting his recently departed governess, a long-tim Austen paints a world of excess. She’s just so fucking brilliant. That much so I found the need to swear. The sarcasm is just oozing out of her words. She doesn’t need to tell you her opinions of society: she shows them to you. Simply put, Emma’s farther is a ridiculous prat. There’s no other word for it. He spends his day lounging around eating rich and expensive food and doesn’t bother to exercise his body or mental faculties. The thought of visiting his recently departed governess, a long-time family friend, is utterly deplorable. I mean, he can’t travel that far. She lives the great distance of half a mile away; thus, the only possibility is to hire a carriage. This is clearly the only feasible solution to the problem. He is self-indulgent and spoilt, and in this Austen ushers in the origins of her heroine. Thankfully, Emma has a degree of sense. She is still a little spoilt; she still has a great deal to learn but she isn’t her farther. In addition, the departure of her governess is an agreeable experience. She has empathy. Whilst she misses her friend and her teacher, she is genuinely happy for her. Unlike her farther, seeing her friend enter a love filled marriage is an occasion for joy and celebration even if she dearly misses her company. So from very early on, Austen’s heroine is characterised as spoilt, her upbringing demands it so, but she is not without sense or a full awakening: she clearly has the capabilities of leading a successful life rather than one that resembles the useless vegetable state of her farther. She is a strong woman. She spends her days helping her new friend Harriet; she endeavours to find her the perfect husband, and sets about trying to improve her character. But through this, and her own naivety, Emma never considers her own youth, and that she, too, is in need of some degree of improvement. Thus sweeps in the straight shooter, the frank speaking, Mr Knightley. Emma has many reading lists (who doesn’t?) but she never bothers to complete them; she never finishes her own schedule: her own plans. She considers herself a true authority on marriage, on matchmaking, but her experience, her credentials, come from one fluke partnership. Her young age breeds arrogant ignorance. Because she has created one healthy marriage, she immediately thinks she knows what love is about: she thinks she will succeed again. And as a result she makes a series of terrible mistakes. Ones Mr Knightley is only too generous to point out. And this is Emma’s learning curve. Such irony! “Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love ; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.” Through the course of the plot she truly discovers herself. Austen’s heroines are frequently deluded, and Emma is deluded by her own will. She has no idea what love is, and in her well-meant advice, she frequently mistakes simple things such as gratitude and simple kindness as romantic interest. Austen being the wonderfully comic writer that she is, exploits this silly little misconception for the entire plot. Emma does finally get over herself. By the end she understands the feelings that are ready to burst forth from her own chest. Emma’s excess is her indulgence in her own opinion; she naively believes herself experienced when in reality she is juvenile, arrogant, self-absorbed, but full of real potential as a human being: she can do some good in this world and live for others. What she needed to do, and what Mr Knightly so desperately wanted to see, was for her to grow up. And she does: happiness reigns supreme. “Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.” I gave this five stars, but is it as enjoyable as other Austen’s? Simply put, it’s not. This lacked a plot driver. This wasn’t heading towards a clear and well defined fulfilment or resolution. I would certainly, and whole-heartedly, only recommend reading this one if you already enjoy Austen’s style. Whilst this does display Austen’s rapier wit in full force, the lack of narrative progress will scare most readers away. This has a great deal going for it, though it is terribly slow at points. If you’re not already an Austen lover, you should go read something else. For me though, I’m going to finally being reading Pride and Prejudice soon. It will be very interesting to compare it to Persuasion and see which is the best.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    My interpretation of the first 60+ pages of Emma: "Oh, my dear, you musn't think of falling for him. He's too crude and crass." "Oh, my dear Emma, you are perfectly correct. I shan't give him another thought." "Oh, my dear, that's good because I would have to knock you flat on your arse if you were considering someone of such low birth." Yawn. I tried, but life's too short. Plus, I like 'em crude and crass. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder My interpretation of the first 60+ pages of Emma: "Oh, my dear, you musn't think of falling for him. He's too crude and crass." "Oh, my dear Emma, you are perfectly correct. I shan't give him another thought." "Oh, my dear, that's good because I would have to knock you flat on your arse if you were considering someone of such low birth." Yawn. I tried, but life's too short. Plus, I like 'em crude and crass. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  6. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    before she began writing this novel, JA said, ‘i am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.’ and sis, if that aint the truth. its not like i hated emma - there are far worse characters out there - its just that she annoyed me to no end. no one likes a inconsiderate/conceited busy-body and, to me, i never got the sense that emma was truly sorry for her actions in the end, which makes all of her meddling unredeemable. but i appreciate mr. knightleys character as hes the ONLY before she began writing this novel, JA said, ‘i am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.’ and sis, if that aint the truth. its not like i hated emma - there are far worse characters out there - its just that she annoyed me to no end. no one likes a inconsiderate/conceited busy-body and, to me, i never got the sense that emma was truly sorry for her actions in the end, which makes all of her meddling unredeemable. but i appreciate mr. knightleys character as hes the ONLY person who calls emma out on her poor behaviour. hes the highlight of this entire novel for me - hes kind, considerate, and notices others. hes way too good for emma, in my opinion. sadly, my lack of love for the title character prevented me from loving this, but i can understand the storys popularity throughout time and the appeal of JAs writing. ↠ 2.5 stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (936 from 1001). Emma, Jane Austen Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of High-bury and the surrounding estates of Hart-field, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village". The novel was first published in December 1815 while the author was alive, with its title page listing a publication d (936 from 1001). Emma, Jane Austen Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of High-bury and the surrounding estates of Hart-field, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of "3 or 4 families in a country village". The novel was first published in December 1815 while the author was alive, with its title page listing a publication date of 1816. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian–Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters and depicts issues of marriage, gender, age, and social status. عنوان: اما؛ نویسنده: جین اوستین؛ انتشاراتیها: (اردیبهشت، نی، نیک فرجام، پارمیس، آویدا، نظری، آهنگ فردا، آتیسا، آریاسان) ادبیات؛ تاریخ خوانش: دهم ماه آوریل سال 2010میلادی مترجمها خانمها و آقایان: «روشن آقاخانی، نشر اردیبهشت، 1362، در 208ص»؛ «رضا رضایی، نشر نی، چاپ سوم 1388؛ در 560ص چاپ نهم 1392»؛ «آرزو خلجی مقیم، نیک فرجام، 1395، در 469ص»؛ «الهه مرادپور، پارمیس، چاپ اول 1392؛ چاپ دوم 1395، در 568ص»؛ «شقایق حسین زاده؛ ساری، آویدا، 1391، در 60ص»؛ «شعله بنی آدم، نشر نظری، 1390، در 104ص»؛ «میروحید ذن‍وبی‌؛ آهنگ فردا، 1396، در 459ص»؛ «آرمانوش باباخانیانس، تهران، آتیسا، 1396، در 496ص»؛ «امیر رمزی، آریاسان، 1396، در 459ص»؛ اما وودهاس، دختری ست خوش‌قلب، ولی خیالباف، که خیال می‌کند، همه‌ ی آدمها را می‌شناسد، و می‌تواند سرنوشت آن‌ها را رقم بزند؛ به تدریج پرده‌ ی پندار کنار می‌رود، و «اما» در جریان رخدادها، از خودفریبی، به خودشناسی می‌رسد؛ «جین آستین» در این رمان اوج هنر طنز خود را به نمایش گذاشته است؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    My dear Jane Austen, I hope you don’t mind that I write to you, expressing my gratitude for your brilliant handling of words. And as the post office is an object of interest and admiration in your novel “Emma”, I thought a letter would be the adequate way of communicating my thoughts. I must start by confessing that I don’t like your heroine at all. Obviously, this sounds like a harsh judgment on a classic character like Emma Woodhouse, and I wouldn’t have dared to be as honest with you as I am, My dear Jane Austen, I hope you don’t mind that I write to you, expressing my gratitude for your brilliant handling of words. And as the post office is an object of interest and admiration in your novel “Emma”, I thought a letter would be the adequate way of communicating my thoughts. I must start by confessing that I don’t like your heroine at all. Obviously, this sounds like a harsh judgment on a classic character like Emma Woodhouse, and I wouldn’t have dared to be as honest with you as I am, had I not been convinced that you dislike her even more than I do. For I can at least accept some of her conceited ignorance as a direct effect of the prejudice of her era, whereas you had to deal with her as a contemporary. It hardly helped at all that you gave her an antagonist in Mrs Elton who exceeded Emma’s vanity and narcissism. I struggle to find anything justifiable in the lifestyle displayed in “Emma”, and if I needed any proof that English class society was as parasitic as it was idiotic, your description of the idle life of the whole set of characters is perfectly enough to make me feel happy that I have not been born a “lady” with “prospects” in England in the early 19th century. If Jane Fairfax’ worst fate is to use her education to teach young children, and her best luck is to be married to a character like Frank Churchill, I personally see no big difference between her heaven and my hell. As for Emma’s clueless and spoiled behaviour - she is the strongest case against the reasonableness of Mr Knightley. My dear Jane Austen, as you can see, I didn’t care for any of your characters, which I found to be dull, arrogant, deceitful and just plain stupid. I didn’t care for the idea that bliss is marrying into a situation that gives you the right to bully others and look down on people whose family tree isn’t fashionable enough. I certainly didn’t care about Emma’s meddling in her friends’ lives, to the point of telling one of her friends that she would not be able to see her anymore if she married a certain man, considered “low”. I didn’t care for the “happy end” with all those marriages - magically matching the couples according to their social status. Why, do you ask, dear Jane Austen, and rightly so, did you devour the novel then, if it has so little merit? I did it because it had the same effect as a well-scripted soap opera: I wanted to know who ended up with whom despite my shudders, and I continued to follow Emma from misconception to misconception in paralysed fascination with the vulgarity of her mind. It had one extremely important advantage compared to a soap opera though, and that is where you may take credit, my dear Jane Austen! It had funny, sarcastic moments, and it was a delightful tribute to the beauty of the English language. That is more than any soap opera can achieve. So thank you for that! As I am quite a fan of your other novels’ titles, combining two main ideas in alliterations, I have been thinking about how to create an ABC of “Emma” using the same literary device. First, I thought the title must unmistakably be “Art and Arrogance”, being an adequate description of Emma’s schemes. Then I thought about the awkwardness of the characters. As they are constantly mistaken about each other’s intentions and feelings, I settled for “Blush and Blunders”. In the end, though, my dislike of the general worldview on display in the novel made me go for the C option: CLASS AND CLOWNERY! In my mind, that is what “Emma” should be rightly called, and I hope you don’t mind my being so honest with you, my dear Jane Austen, for just like your lovely character Mrs Elton, I claim that “I am no flatterer, and I will make up my own mind about things”. As you know, that is highly unusual and very brave (but not very modest!), especially in a society which deals in classic literature, where your novels are part of the aristocracy. I will be closing my letter by expressing my infinite gratitude. Without “Emma”, I wouldn’t have realised how incredibly lucky I am to be able to call people from all walks of life my friends, how blessed I am to have a family in which equality is the major basis for attachment, in which my profession is a source of pride and happiness and steady income! Without Emma, I might have forgotten how dull it is to be spoiled and privileged and superior! Yours truly, The devoted reader, whose family tree will probably prevent you from reading the letter

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars rounded up because of the narration. I've noticed a lot of people hate Emma. She's spoiled by her circumstances and self-absorbed in a way that only someone who hasn't really known any sort of hardships can be. And I get why she isn't the heroine that anyone is really rooting for in a serious way. Because if the book had ended with Emma alone with her father, it wouldn't have really broken my heart. But here's the thing I found as I listened to this one: It wasn't really Emma that I h 3.5 stars rounded up because of the narration. I've noticed a lot of people hate Emma. She's spoiled by her circumstances and self-absorbed in a way that only someone who hasn't really known any sort of hardships can be. And I get why she isn't the heroine that anyone is really rooting for in a serious way. Because if the book had ended with Emma alone with her father, it wouldn't have really broken my heart. But here's the thing I found as I listened to this one: It wasn't really Emma that I hated, it was the whole stick-to-your-social-level thinking that was so...accepted. I guess I forgot that society's structure was such an ingrained part of everyone's lives during this time period that the fact that Emma dared to think her friend worthy of a certain man, made her into a villainess. I think we tend to focus on Robert Martin, who for all intents and purposes was a nice dude, and Emma discouraging Harriet to accept him because she thought he was socially above him. But in reality, it wasn't just that Emma who needed to be chastised for sticking her nose into Harriet's love life. Although, yes, she should have been! <--because stop being a nosey bitch, Emma! It was the whole if you marry a farmer, we can't be seen together anymore thing. How was this a thing?! How was this ever a thing?! Ok, ok. Take away my disappointment in the casual way humans treated other humans who hadn't been born into the right family and weren't gentlemanly enough. Or the way Emma was SO GRATEFUL that Knightly had taken the time to correct her when she didn't behave properly. And take away the part where Knightly blushingly confessed that he had probably been in love with her since she was 13. <--with their 16 year age gap, that puts him at 29. OHMYFUCKINGGOD! I get it. Times...they were a bit different. I still made The Face when I heard that one, though. Anyway. Take all of that away, and I honestly liked this story. Emma wasn't a bad person, she was just somewhat Clueless as to what the real world was like, and oblivious to not only what other people needed but to what she needed, as well. Speaking of what she needed - she needed someone to grab her father by the shoulders, give him a good shake, and tell him to stop acting like such a pussy. Mr. Woodhouse was so fucking annoying. I mean, he's portrayed as a lovable, harmless old man, but...not really! She almost didn't marry because of him. And everyone just bowed and scraped and let him get away with his nonsense. Except Knightly's brother. <--loved that guy! Probably the only normal person in the entire fucking book. It was good luck that they had a chicken thief in the area that scared her father into wanting a man around the house. Ha! I really did think that was a cute way to end the story. And Knightly really was a super nice guy who deserved a happy ending of his own. My point is, that while it has its problems, I wasn't bored to tears with this classic story. And I like that Austen wrote about people and the things that made them tick, and not the weather or the scenery. The issues I had with the book are the same things that make the book a classic. In other words, it's old. And they did shit differently when this was written. Not really sure what you can do about that other than be super fucking happy you weren't born back then. Nadia May was a wonderful narrator and really made listening to the audiobook a very pleasant experience. And, as always, I suggest audiobooks for those of you who aren't fans of trying to read some of these older books. Getting someone to spoon feed you this old stuff can make all the difference in the world.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Jane Austen famously wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." My initial take: Truer words, Jane. Truer words. Emma is wealthy and beautiful, the queen bee of society in her town, and boss of her household (since her father is a hand-wringing worrywart, almost paralyzed by his fears). She’s prideful, self-satisfied and convinced she knows best, not just for herself but for pretty much everyone in her circle. When Emma decides she’s got a gift for matchmaking, Jane Austen famously wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." My initial take: Truer words, Jane. Truer words. Emma is wealthy and beautiful, the queen bee of society in her town, and boss of her household (since her father is a hand-wringing worrywart, almost paralyzed by his fears). She’s prideful, self-satisfied and convinced she knows best, not just for herself but for pretty much everyone in her circle. When Emma decides she’s got a gift for matchmaking, trouble soon follows. But. On reread, I realized that Emma is a better character than I previously gave her credit for (of course, Mrs Elton makes any other woman look like a saint). She’s intelligent and essentially kindhearted, she has almost endless patience with her exasperating father, and she’s not so proud that she isn’t able to learn from her mistakes (view spoiler)[and even take a little criticism to heart (hide spoiler)] . Not a whole lot happens in Emma, plotwise. It takes place in a small town among a limited group of people; nobody is saving the world or doing anything earth-shaking. But Jane Austen has a gift for creating a vivid world of memorable people, and drawing believable characters both wise and foolish ... and the wealthy people can be just as silly and blind as the poverty-stricken ones. Emma learns and grows over the course of the novel, and ends up quite a bit wiser than when she started. Jane Austen is very cognizant of the different classes of society, even in a village. There’s no real criticism of that from Austen here; in fact, a lot of trouble results when Emma tries to pull her friend Harriet from a lower sphere of society into her own, higher one. It would have been nice to see more challenges to the assumption that everyone should stay and marry in their own class. There’s amazingly insightful social commentary in Emma but ultimately not much movement ... except within the heart and mind of Emma herself. And maybe that’s enough, for this particular story from this particular day and age. April 2017 reread/group read with Catching Up on the Classics.

  11. 4 out of 5

    emma

    me: i love jane austen anyone: me too!! don't you love Emma?? me: uh... (long pause) i haven't read it anyone: ...but - me: yes, i know anyone: your name - me: yes, it's emma anyone: ... me: i'm saving it to be the last austen i read anyone: ... me: to me this is a normal, logical thought anyone: ... me: imagine living in my head anyone: *collapses*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gavea

    I must begin by stating that I may be utterly biased here. Emma is the novel that introduced me to the treasure that are Jane Austen's masterpieces. I read it when I was fourteen, and fell in love with it right there and then. People often tend to mention that Emma Woodhouse is the least likeable heroine Jane Austen has created. It may be so, since she is rather headstrong, spoiled and with a strong tendency to plan other people's lives, without giving a second thought to all possible consequenc I must begin by stating that I may be utterly biased here. Emma is the novel that introduced me to the treasure that are Jane Austen's masterpieces. I read it when I was fourteen, and fell in love with it right there and then. People often tend to mention that Emma Woodhouse is the least likeable heroine Jane Austen has created. It may be so, since she is rather headstrong, spoiled and with a strong tendency to plan other people's lives, without giving a second thought to all possible consequences, secluded in the protection of Hartfield, her house, her bubble. It may be so but we should not forget that she has no siblings, and an onlychild, more often than not, believes that the world probably revolves around him/her. And I am an onlychild, so don't judge me... :) I recently revisited Emma's world for a group discussion, and I once again found myself utterly charmed by Jane Austen's creation. In this novel, she presents all the vices of the aristocracy, all the possible ways the high and mighty use to look down on those who are less fortunate, and she does so with style and elegance, and her unique satire. Yes, Emma is a difficult character, but I think we must regard her the way we do with a younger sister or a younger cousin who has yet to experience the difficulties of the ''real'' world ''out there''. Emma is a charming character, for all her faults. Frankly, I find her a bit more realistic than the other iconic heroines, the ever - perfect Elizabeth, the always - sensible and cautious Eleanor, or the ever - waiting, passive Anne. Emma makes many mistakes and regrets, but her heart is kind. After all, don't we become a little stupid when we fall in love? (view spoiler)[And I am not ashamed to admit that I fully sided with Emma in the infamous picnic scene. In my opinion, she gave voice to what everyone was thinking. (hide spoiler)] The rest of the characters are all iconic as well. Mr .Knightley is sensible, gentle, gallant, the true voice of reason. I highly prefer him compared to Mr. Darcy. Frank Churchill joins Sense and Sensibility's John Willoughby as the two most unsympathetic young suitors in Jane Austen's works, Harriet is well...Harriet, and Miss Taylor is a lady that I believe all of us would want as a close friend and adviser. Emma is a wonderful journey, full of satire, lively, realistic characters and the beautiful descriptions of a tiny English town. It is small wonder that there have been so many adaptations in all media, the big screen, TV and in theatre. The best adaptation, in my opinion, is the 2009 BBC TV series, with Romola Garai as Emma and Jonny Lee Miller as a dreamy Mr. Knightley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Emma a young woman in Regency England lives with her rich, but eccentric widowed father Henry Woodhouse, in the rural village of Highbury, always concerned about his health (hypochondriac, in the extreme) and anybody else's , Mr. Woodhouse constantly giving unwanted advise to his amused friends and relatives they tolerate the kindly old man. Miss Woodhouse ( they're very formal, in those days), is very class conscious a bit of a snob ( but lovable) and will not be friends with people below her p Emma a young woman in Regency England lives with her rich, but eccentric widowed father Henry Woodhouse, in the rural village of Highbury, always concerned about his health (hypochondriac, in the extreme) and anybody else's , Mr. Woodhouse constantly giving unwanted advise to his amused friends and relatives they tolerate the kindly old man. Miss Woodhouse ( they're very formal, in those days), is very class conscious a bit of a snob ( but lovable) and will not be friends with people below her perceived rank, the Woodhouse family is the most prominent in the area, she likes matchmaking... her friend and governess Miss Taylor with a little help from Emma, married Mr.Weston a close friend of their family, later regretted by both father and daughter as her presence is greatly missed. And older sister Isabella, earlier had left to be the wife of John Knightley and moved away, she is ... in a lonely place. Then Emma surprisingly chooses a protege Harriet Smith, a seventeen year old girl with an unknown background, ( illegitimate? ) lives in Mrs.Goddard's boarding school for girls, hoping to groom the unfortunate young lady and raise her to a higher position in society. Besides the slightly spoiled Miss Woodhouse , even her friends call her by that name, will have a companion to talk to. Mr.Woodhouse's company lacks stimulation understandably, how much talk about illness the devoted daughter, or anyone else take? Emma believes she can discover people's emotions by watching them, know who they love, not true but that fact doesn't stop the lady from trying to marry off Harriet, thinking her own beaus really want to marry Miss Smith instead of her, big mistakes follow hurt feelings, embarrassing situations ironically the clueless Emma encouraged Harriet to turn down Robert Martin, a farmer with an excellent reputation but a lowly position in the world. George Knightley a nearby neighbor, the older brother of John, rents the farm to Mr.Martin, he thinks very well of the young man ...Another neighbor , good Miss Bates a spinster, never lacks words ...too much so, for many, but her friends allow it, ( most of the time) her niece, the pretty Jane Fairfax, her late sister's daughter, comes to visit her and her mother, the grandmother is happy also to see their beautiful relative. She plays the piano quite well and sings delightfully too, better than Emma and the envious girl, becomes a rival, Miss Woodhouse has long been the local leader of society here, what there is of it...The prodigal son of Mr. Weston and his late first wife, returns, mysteriously (some secrets are hidden), Frank Weston Churchill, adopted by his rich aunt and uncle. Emma and Jane are attractive to the charming gentleman , but the wise George Knightley doesn't feel he is a serious man, a bit of a fop, more interested in his appearance than anything more. A wonderful book about manners, class rank and country society of the landed gentry, in old England, that doesn't exist anymore...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amit Mishra

    Emma woodhouse changes from being vain and self satisfied, blind to her own feelings and dangerously insensitive to the feelings of others, in a slow, painful progress towards maturity.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Okay, when I first started the book and was reading how Emma was taking happiness away from Harriet Smith by telling her that Mr. Martin wasn't good enough for her - I didn't like Emma at all. Now I can understand how Emma only wanted to do good by Harriet and that was how it was back in those days. But, as Mr. Knightely pointed out, Harriet was not from some wealthy family and Emma was doing the wrong thing in trying to find her a great husband. Mr. Knightley went to the trouble to help Mr. Mar Okay, when I first started the book and was reading how Emma was taking happiness away from Harriet Smith by telling her that Mr. Martin wasn't good enough for her - I didn't like Emma at all. Now I can understand how Emma only wanted to do good by Harriet and that was how it was back in those days. But, as Mr. Knightely pointed out, Harriet was not from some wealthy family and Emma was doing the wrong thing in trying to find her a great husband. Mr. Knightley went to the trouble to help Mr. Martin in how to go about asking for Harriet's hand in marriage and Emma shut that down. But lets just say it all worked out in the end. Emma went on a journey of trying to get people together. She wanted to bring people together and have them all married off. It seemed that it always back fired. Bless her heart for trying. She really was just trying to do good even though some of her thoughts and actions were not that kind. Emma's father, Mr. Woodhouse was a peculiar character. I can't say too much because it seemed that what they called "his nerves" back then, sounds just like some forms of my panic disorder and agoraphobia. So I'm not going to go on about him not wanting to leave the house or him hating for anyone leaving him, he had issues, so just leave him alone. It was such fun reading about the story line and all of the descriptions in the book. Some things reminded me of Pride & Prejudice in that way but of course I love that book better. But Emma was a little enchantment all on it's own. Then Emma tries to set Harriet up with Mr. Elton and that backfired as well as he had a crush on Emma. Poor Emma once again made a mistake. "Here have I," said she, "actually talked poor Harriet into being very much attached to this man. She might never have thought of him but for me; and certainly never would have thought of him with hope, if I had not assured her of his attachment, for she is as modest and humble as I used to think him. Oh! that I had been satisfied with persuading her not to accept young Martin. There I was quite right. That was well done of me; but there I should have stopped, and left the rest to time and chance. I was introducing her into good company, and giving her the opportunity of pleasing someone worth having; I ought not to have attempted more. But now, poor girl, her peace is cut up for some time. I have been but half a friend to her; and if she were not to feel this disappointment so very much, I am sure I have not an idea of anybody else who would be at all desirable for her--William Coxe--oh! no, I could not endure William Coxe--a pert young lawyer I did not like Frank Churchill from the start. There was just something devious about him. Emma didn't like certain things he did but she was a friend to him anyway. But getting to read about the love slowly unfolding between Mr. Knightly and Emma was so sweet. You could tell there was something there and they were both hiding it. Until the bitter end when Mr. Knightly finally confesses his love and Emma to him. And they had their wedding. How sweet is that, Emma finally finding her own love instead of trying to find it for others. I thought the book was really good and enjoyed it a great deal. ♥ MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adam Dalva

    Oh my goodness, did I love. At one point, toward the end, when the thing that Austen was working toward happened, I literally fell down from the couch to the rug. Emma herself is a unique creation, a headstrong, misguided, self-confident girl who we can't help but love, because she is honest. The love complications are innumerable, the humor is excellent, and the writing is spectacular. Without the intensely crafted plot of Pride and Prejudice, say, Austen's sentences are left to carry the book, Oh my goodness, did I love. At one point, toward the end, when the thing that Austen was working toward happened, I literally fell down from the couch to the rug. Emma herself is a unique creation, a headstrong, misguided, self-confident girl who we can't help but love, because she is honest. The love complications are innumerable, the humor is excellent, and the writing is spectacular. Without the intensely crafted plot of Pride and Prejudice, say, Austen's sentences are left to carry the book, something that they are more than capable of. It was interesting to read this in concert with Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT, because they have much in common, and because there is as much truth and insight here, with additional pleasures. Austen is habitually underrated for the usual reasons, and also because the adaptations of her work showcase her facility with plot more than language. On the page, one wants to read her fast, but one also wants to linger in the prose.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Book 5 of 6 completed of my accidental Austen binge. I have to say that Emma is enormously entertaining. But as I was reading this book a strange realization came over me. At this point I think I'm becoming deeply acquainted with Austen's wit and tricks, and there is one quality that I find the most incredible. Jane Austen is amazing at writing about annoying people. There are the annoying neighbors, the annoying suitors, the annoying relatives. She recreates the inane way in which these annoyin Book 5 of 6 completed of my accidental Austen binge. I have to say that Emma is enormously entertaining. But as I was reading this book a strange realization came over me. At this point I think I'm becoming deeply acquainted with Austen's wit and tricks, and there is one quality that I find the most incredible. Jane Austen is amazing at writing about annoying people. There are the annoying neighbors, the annoying suitors, the annoying relatives. She recreates the inane way in which these annoying people prattle on with such humor. Austen's so clever with her writing that this is not annoying for the reader and somehow becomes wickedly funny. You share in the joke with a raised eyebrow. And, Austen manages to do all this without being mean or nasty. Emma could be called annoying at times. She's not a particularly likable heroine. She assumes much, is spoiled and a bit unaware. But Austen also shows how she learns from her mistakes and Emma is always endeavoring to improve which makes her more interesting and charming over time. I've seen so many movie versions of Emma, and various remakes, but for some reason Clueless came to my mind the most while reading this book. For me, this book more enjoyable than the films because I found it deeply satisfying to get a much clearer picture of of the satellite characters. For example, SPOILER ALERT, the attraction between Mr. Churchill and Jane Fairfax is explained in detail. It was a side story that always rang a little false to me in the films. But here Frank emerges as less of a serious rake than some of the other Austen bad boys: he's as thoughtless and selfish, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, but he's much less offensive than Willoughby or that odious Mr. Fairfax from Mansfield Park who's downright sinister. And Frank and Emma's faux love reminded me of a pair of popular kids at high school who play a game with no real tenderness behind it. Jane Fairfax is also very interesting. Now having read five of her books, you begin to see the Austen patterns here. Austen has a fixation with women with "low prospects." The heroine of Mansfield Park is a cousin of unimpressive birth, Anne in Persuasion is past her prime. Here Austen presents not one, but two women with tough futures ahead of them. Jane who is going to be a governess and Harriet Smith who seems to be caught in some sort of unmarried woman limbo-land. I like how Austen balances the qualities of these two women, who are beautiful and full of noble qualities against an unpleasant future. Jane keeps her dignity while being bossed about by Mrs. Elton and sweet-tempered Harriet is pushed around by Emma. You feel Austen's sympathy for the underdog. She's rooting for these women to triumph. They are trapped in a glass jar of limitations must do their best to navigate their constraints, even if that means marrying wonky Frank Churchill. But ultimately all of Austen's characters, including Emma, are in a box of limitations. I love Jane Austen, but sometimes I get bit tired of reading about the device of marriage as a strategic move. ***First time I've ever used the word annoying seven times in a review! But in the best sense.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I can't do it! I can't finish it! I keep trying to get into Jane Austen's stuff and I just can't make it further than 150 pages or so. Everything seems so predictable and sooooo long-winded. I feel like she is the 19th century John Grisham. You know there's a good story line in there somewhere, and if you could edit out 60% of the words it would be fantastic. Sorry to all the Jane Austen fans-you inspired me to try one more time and I failed!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I’ve felt the need to wallow in nostalgia these last few weeks, and in between my more recent reads, I’ve been trying to fit in some of the ones that I’ve loved in the past - and so it was that I found myself rereading Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’. I’d forgotten how good Austen is at detailing the minutiae of her characters lives, and making them irresistible. Loved it all over again!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    Emma - a sweet satire or snobby gossip? Emma turned out to be my least favorite Austen novel. Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organizing love affairs, for the people around her. Her plans for the matrimonial success of her new friend Harriet, however backfire and lead her into complications that ultimately test her own determination not to get married. Emma Woodhouse Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse in the movie 2020 Emma is descri Emma - a sweet satire or snobby gossip? Emma turned out to be my least favorite Austen novel. Emma is young, rich and independent. She has decided not to get married and instead spends her time organizing love affairs, for the people around her. Her plans for the matrimonial success of her new friend Harriet, however backfire and lead her into complications that ultimately test her own determination not to get married. Emma Woodhouse Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse in the movie 2020 Emma is describes as handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition. Emma had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. But, we are warned, that Emma possesses the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself. Emma’s stubbornness and vanity produce many conflicts, as Emma struggles to develop emotionally. Emma makes three major mistakes. First, she attempts to make her friend Harriet into the wife of a gentleman, when Harriet’s social position dictates that she would be better suited to the farmer who loves her. Then, she flirts with someone, even though she does not care for him, making unfair comments about another woman along the way. Most important, she does not realize that, rather than being committed to staying single, she is in love with and wants to marry Mr. Knightley. Though these mistakes seriously threaten Harriet’s happiness, cause Emma embarrassment, and create obstacles to Emma’s own achievement of true love, none of them has lasting consequences. Knightley corrects and guides Emma and in marrying Knightley, Emma signals that her judgment has aligned with his. The novel implicitly prefers Emma’s independence and cleverness, over more traditional deportment, although we are still faced with the paradox that she is almost always mistaken and needs a man to save her from her own ways. Marriage and Social Status Personal biases or desires in the context of social class Emma is structured around marriages, solidifying the participant’s social status, which was determined by a combination of family background, reputation, and wealth. Marriage was one of the main ways in which one could raise one’s social status, which was especially crucial to women, who couldn‘t improve their status through hard work or personal achievement. Yet, the novel suggests, that marrying too far above oneself leads to strife, or the inequality of the relationship. Instead the marriage would be happier, when the social statuses are more equal. Because Harriet’s parentage is unknown, Emma believes that she may have noble blood and encourages her to reject what turns out to be a more appropriate match. When it is revealed that Harriet is the daughter of a tradesman, Emma admits that Mr. Martin is more suitable for her friend. Finally, the match between Emma and Mr. Knightley is considered a good one not only because they are well matched in temperament but also because they are well matched in social class. The Nature of Women’s Existence Harriet and Emma The novel’s extremely limited, almost claustrophobic scope of topic gives us a strong sense of the confined nature of a woman’s existence in early-nineteenth-century rural England. Emma possesses a great deal of intelligence and energy, but the best use she can make of these is to attempt to guide the marital destinies of her friends, a project that gets her into trouble. The alternative activities like social visits, charity visits, music, artistic endeavors—seem relatively trivial, or even monotonous. The novel focuses on marriage because marriage offers women a chance to exert their power, if only for a brief time, and to affect their own destinies without adopting the labors or efforts of the working class. Participating in the rituals of courtship and accepting or rejecting proposals is perhaps the most active role that women are permitted to play in Emma’s world. Misunderstandings Emma and Mr. Knightley The novel offers sharply critical illustrations of the ways in which personal biases or desires blind objective judgment. Emma cannot understand the motives that guide Mr. Elton’s behavior because she imagines that he is in love with Harriet. Meanwhile, Mr. Elton’s feelings for Emma cause him to mistake her behavior for encouragement. The admirable, frequently ironic detachment of the narrator allows us to see many of these misunderstandings before the characters do, along with the humorous aspects of their behavior. And the plot is powered by a series of realizations that permit each character to make fuller, more objective judgments. The misunderstandings that permeate the novel are created, in part, by the conventions of social propriety. To differing degrees, characters are unable to express their feelings directly and openly, and their feelings are therefore mistaken. While the novel by no means suggests that the manners and rituals of social interaction should be eliminated, Austen implies that the overly clever, complex speech deserves censure. A natural, warm, and direct manner of expression is pictured as preferable to an ostentatious and insincere style of complimenting people. Austen seems to prefer tactful tacitness over the sometimes overly gregarious commentary, and gives the latter characters’ a misleading influence on the story as a whole. “Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” Emma’s often absurd, yawning chasm between what Emma thinks she knows and what she so profoundly doesn’t understand, including the hearts of the people around her, offers a 19th versions of gossip crushes and drama, while simultaneously putting her protagonists in a position, where they feel like they are above gossiping, even though they are not. Those two opposites, are where many see the charm of the story, but I struggle to find my appreciation for it. Even though I learned to fully appreciate Austen works, Emma is not one of my favorites.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    Although using this trite doesn't mean that the fact is any less true, it is still at the risk of sounding cliché when I say that Jane Austen's classic, Emma, is like a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to the miasmal novels in the publishing market today; especially for someone who has been on a YA binge of late. You see, the reason why I went for Emma as my first Austen read is because my mother has seen the latest movie adaptation, and she claims it to be her very favorite. Mind you, she has Although using this trite doesn't mean that the fact is any less true, it is still at the risk of sounding cliché when I say that Jane Austen's classic, Emma, is like a breath of fresh air when juxtaposed to the miasmal novels in the publishing market today; especially for someone who has been on a YA binge of late. You see, the reason why I went for Emma as my first Austen read is because my mother has seen the latest movie adaptation, and she claims it to be her very favorite. Mind you, she hasn't read any thing of Austen's—but she loves the movie so very much that she kept pestering me to watch it (I suppose I'll have to pester her to read the book now, won't I?). To which I continually said that, no, no, I will not watch the movie until I've read the book; I positively hate to watch the movie adaptation before reading the book; it virtually cancels out any chance of me ever finding enough interest in reading the actual book to its completion. So, after picking up Emma at least ten times in the past year, reading the first few chapters, only to sit it back down again, I finally—the other day—decided I wanted to read something of quality and something that is truly written well. Well, that is definitely Emma. Emma, herself, is, for me, just as stunning as she is flawed; I started out thinking her a walking vexation, but somewhere in the 400+ pages I began to warm to her like you would with any inevitably lovable—albeit, at times, antagonising—character. Emma's devotion to her father is also very admirable. And by the end, Emma seemed so much more humble and less meddling that I couldn't help but be very pleased with her character. My thoughts on Mr. Knightley are not as easily expressed; in the beginning I found him merely interesting, but somewhere in the middle he began to hold my interest as much as a mother would hold her infant (if that isn't too much of an odd metaphor); by the end he managed to surpass virtually all of the other male characters of which I've been exposed to. Granted, Mr. Knightley isn't in Emma nearly enough for my satisfaction—but when he is, the aforesaid is all too true. I can't quite place my finger on what it is, exactly, about him that made such an impression on me—other than that I've always had a strong fascination with a true gentleman, being as that sort of thing is practically extinct in this day and age; also, I've grown very jaded with the often monotonous male characters of today. And I do believe that my reaction to Mr. Knightley has left me at a wonder as to just want my reaction will be upon meeting the famous Mr. Darcy. I'll doubtlessly swoon just as countless other lasses have since P&P debuted in 1813. I really think that my hesitation in reading this—as well as Austen's other works—has nothing to do with the writing, or the story, or the pacing; because, and I know this will sound strange, but, I've always loved a book that is just about people going about their daily lives and doing things—little trivial things, even—and simply living; people say that Emma doesn't have much story and is really just people planning balls and Emma interfering in peoples' lives—but I loved all of that! I'll take everyday living over complex plots any day. No, I think the reason for my waiting so long is that I psyched myself out of reading something like this; I kept thinking that it would be too long or too boring or too archaic or too something or another, but in reality this is the very type of thing that I love to read about. Regency, Victorian, etc. . . . I love to read about all of the historical periods, and I'm so very glad that I stopped procrastinating. So, I enjoyed this a great deal and I've set a goal for myself to read all of Austen's works by this time next year (although I kindly ask you not you hold me to it ;)). I plan to continue with her other slightly lesser known titles, and finish with what appears to me to be the most well known and highly esteemed, Pride and Prejudice. In a summary, I plan to save the best—or what is often said to be the best—for last. FAVORITE QUOTE: "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." Although I have many favorite quotes from this (the rest can be read below), that particular quote stood out the most because it is so very true. Expect to see it in my future reviews. I highly recommend Emma to everyone; both lovers and reluctant readers of classics.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    I'm beginning to put in more work in my hobby - my solitary one, reading - than I've put in my career. 400 pages of this stuff is the strong stuff. I have little to analyze here. That is because a lot of the things that can be construed, can be true of any book. Like Sam Harris said, even a cookbook, if improperly analyzed, can yield truths that can seem profoundly benevolent. If I say that the mixture of oil and aniseed symbolizes the purity of the cookbook, that's not conductive to a balanced an I'm beginning to put in more work in my hobby - my solitary one, reading - than I've put in my career. 400 pages of this stuff is the strong stuff. I have little to analyze here. That is because a lot of the things that can be construed, can be true of any book. Like Sam Harris said, even a cookbook, if improperly analyzed, can yield truths that can seem profoundly benevolent. If I say that the mixture of oil and aniseed symbolizes the purity of the cookbook, that's not conductive to a balanced and healthy autopsy. Emma is a frivolous character, with flaws, but appears and is regarded as felicitous. Emma is a book that Jane Austen might have written in Pride and Prejudice, but the differences are markedly dissimilar enough. I am beginning to change. This book would never have got 4 stars from me in 2012. The broadening of my horizons is something private. Suffice to say, Emma is about pleasure rather than stuffy austerity. Let's leave it at that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Of all of Austen's books - and I've read them all several times - I learn the most from Emma. I believe that one of Austen's goals in writing is to teach us to view the rude and ridiculous with amusement rather than disdain. And in Emma we have the clearest and most powerful picture of what happens when we don't do this: when Emma speaks out against Miss Bates. Though rude on Emma's part, we can't help but love her for her mistake and feel her shame because we've all been there. When I feel I ca Of all of Austen's books - and I've read them all several times - I learn the most from Emma. I believe that one of Austen's goals in writing is to teach us to view the rude and ridiculous with amusement rather than disdain. And in Emma we have the clearest and most powerful picture of what happens when we don't do this: when Emma speaks out against Miss Bates. Though rude on Emma's part, we can't help but love her for her mistake and feel her shame because we've all been there. When I feel I can't take [for example] one more family situation, one more draining phone call, one more person unloading on me, I read Emma and remind myself how to behave.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    Still not the full review, just a warm-up exercise. :) You could not shock her more than she shocks me; Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass. It makes me most uncomfortable to see An English spinster of the middle class Describe the amorous effects of "brass," Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety The economic basis of society. - W. H. Auden, Letter to Lord Byron (1936) "While twelve readings of Pride and Prejudie give you twelve periods of pleasure repeated, as many readings of Emma give you tha Still not the full review, just a warm-up exercise. :) You could not shock her more than she shocks me; Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass. It makes me most uncomfortable to see An English spinster of the middle class Describe the amorous effects of "brass," Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety The economic basis of society. - W. H. Auden, Letter to Lord Byron (1936) "While twelve readings of Pride and Prejudie give you twelve periods of pleasure repeated, as many readings of Emma give you that pleasure, not repeated only, but squared and squared again with each persual, till at every fresh reading you feel anew that you never understood anything like the widening sum of its delights." - Reginald Farrer In Emma Woodhouse Jane Austen presents us with her own conundrum that is much harder to figure out than the one written by Mr Elton in the novel itself. We have this incredibly privileged heroine, "handsome, clever and rich", the centre of the small Universe that is the village of Highbury, around whom society revolves so to speak, seemingly with no problems at all, unlike any other Austen heroines before or after her. But Jane Austen being Jane Austen, we are shown that having no problems is what Emma's problem is, actually. Emma's beloved governess & companion marries and she is left at a loose end. At 21 she is too old to play with dolls so she decides to take up a new hobby to kill time and turns to matchmaking instead. Harriet Smith, a socially and intellectually inferior, but kindhearted and utterly submissive young girl is to become Emma's "live Barbie doll". She makes Harriet turn down an offer of marriage from a deserving farmer in favour of a "Ken" of her own choosing (Mr. Elton, the local vicar of Highbury), thinking that she knows better than her protegé or anyone else for that matter. However, people rarely dance in perfect choreography to her tunes, no matter how many strings she tries to attach & her plan badly misfires. She does not give up however and with admirable or exasperating perseverance goes on to meddle in the lives of others imagining herself to have everyone figured out, while not even being aware of her own heart. Emma is taught some hard lessons of self-knowledge and we, readers may obtain considerable satisfaction from the "Schadenfreude" none of us are perfectly free from (as Jane Austen very well knew), while at the same time understanding and accepting Emma fro what/who she is.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    I hope not to raise any of my friends’ sensibilities when I tell you that although I liked Emma, I did not love it. Emma simply did not move me. "With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley." I liked the hilarity of her well-meaning but misdirected attempts I hope not to raise any of my friends’ sensibilities when I tell you that although I liked Emma, I did not love it. Emma simply did not move me. "With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley." I liked the hilarity of her well-meaning but misdirected attempts at match making, I liked the satire of Jane Austen’s prose and the well developed characters. I enjoyed reading about the intentionally annoying Miss Bates and Mrs. Elton, the first incessantly chatty, the second bossy and interfering. I suffered along with Mr. Woodhouse for all his maladies, and I really liked Mr. Knightley, and how he relates to Emma. However, I kept waiting for more. I thought the love stories lacked romance, they seemed an after thought or simply lacked deeper feelings, and I am a romantic at heart. Maybe I am being too strict in granting Emma only 3 stars, but I think it appropriate compared with my ratings of 4 stars for Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility , and 5 stars for Pride and Prejudice . Nevertheless, recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    The second reading of Emma pleasantly surprised me. When the initial embarrassment of having under-appreciated this amazing work by Jane Austen died, I was able to wallow in the pleasure this reading gave me. My former perception of the book, I realized, had arisen from my misconstruction of Emma Woodhouse. My strong dislike of her has clouded my judgment. But now the sky is cleared, I've truly fallen in love with the book, and in justice to both the book and the author, am compelled to amend The second reading of Emma pleasantly surprised me. When the initial embarrassment of having under-appreciated this amazing work by Jane Austen died, I was able to wallow in the pleasure this reading gave me. My former perception of the book, I realized, had arisen from my misconstruction of Emma Woodhouse. My strong dislike of her has clouded my judgment. But now the sky is cleared, I've truly fallen in love with the book, and in justice to both the book and the author, am compelled to amend my review. Emma Woodhouse is quite a different heroine to what we are used to in an Austen novel. We are used to the all-good type. But Emma is not so. In Austen's words, Emma is "handsome, clever and rich", a first in a work of hers. For the first time, Jane Austen has sorted out an upper-class heroine who enjoys "the power of having rather too much her own way and a disposition to think a little too well of herself". Proud, conscious of her high rank, overly satisfied in her judgment, Emma Woodhouse's treatment toward the community of Highbury is one of condescension. Except for Mr. Knightley and her beloved Westons, Emma considers all others to be below her in rank and shows them only a dutiful kindness without any true warmth which is required of one of her station in life. Little that she foresees of the consequences of her own vanity, envy, and misjudgment, happily meddling with one young woman's life and gossiping about another. But when her very happiness is threatened, the influence of the one man she loves properly humbles her and makes her see her own faults. I truly liked Emma and was very much charmed by her this time. Not that she was easy to tolerate, but I could better understand and appreciate her innate good qualities which come out in full force when she receives a rough shake to her heart. Mr. Knightley, on the other hand, contributes to the weight of the story by being constant, strong, kind, open, and sensible. He is the opposite of Emma with his sincere respect for people of every rank and situation in life. Mr. Knightley is a real gentleman, and the gentleman any lady would wish for. I loved the character. He is one of the best Austen heroes. Emma brings out the class distinction of the Regency society like no other Austen work. Everything is centered on it, love, marriage, and even association. Austen with her clever and witty writing satirically portrays this social “comedy”. There is romance alright. Austen wouldn’t have abandoned the popular theme, but it is the social role played by “rank” that has engaged her mind when writing Emma. It is a light and entertaining work, and a touch of comicality made it all the more enjoyable. It is also a complete work with a beautiful story, characters from different stations of life, social criticism, all being closely knitted into a perfect and wonderful piece of literature. With Emma, four of Jane Austen novels have become my favourties. Perhaps, I’m partial because of my love for her, but I’m confident in my assertion that none can challenge her brilliancy in writing, in her ability to create lifelike and universally loved and respected characters, and her talent in painting a true picture of Regency society.

  27. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    Jane Austen seems to be a rather divisive figure as of late. You love her for her wit, her irony, her gentle but pointed depictions of manners and love. Or you hate her because she seems to be harking back to an age of prescribed gender roles and stultifying drawing room conversation. I am of the former camp. Emma may be one of her more divisive novels and the title character one of her more controversial creations. Or perhaps that should be – one of her more irritating creations. She exasperates Jane Austen seems to be a rather divisive figure as of late. You love her for her wit, her irony, her gentle but pointed depictions of manners and love. Or you hate her because she seems to be harking back to an age of prescribed gender roles and stultifying drawing room conversation. I am of the former camp. Emma may be one of her more divisive novels and the title character one of her more controversial creations. Or perhaps that should be – one of her more irritating creations. She exasperates readers: people are annoyed by her as they are annoyed by people like Emma in real life. She is a snob, she is a busybody, she is high-handed and she puts her great intellect in service of manipulating the people around her; and all through this, she is utterly convinced of her strong ideals and her noble aims. But this is exactly why I love her. I don’t yearn for perfection in heroes and heroines. I like them real, imperfect, deluded, flawed. It is important to recognize that Austen somewhat stacks the deck by surrounding her heroine with a loveable (and sometimes not so loveable) gallery of soft-headed nitwits and ne’er-do-wells. How can a person of such superior intellect, such depth of spirit, do else but try to improve their lot? She is only trying to be of service to them, to all of the imperfect humans who cross her path! I can’t help but empathize with her clearly Virgoan tendencies to reform and to improve – and to serve, in her own way. When reading about Emma’s zany hijinks, part of me stood back in awe at her ability to fool herself so utterly. And another part of me wanted to kiss those foolish, snobby little comments off of her no-doubt lovely face. But yet I don’t think I have a crush on Emma, it is more of a brotherly feeling. She’s like the ideal bossy older sister – frustrating, annoying, convinced of her superiority - yet kind beyond measure, golden of heart. Wonderfully flawed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This was the perfect book to reread during my Christmas break. I am a devoted fan of Jane Austen's work, but even so, I find "Emma" to be particularly charming and insightful. The story of the "handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse, who is determined to be a matchmaker among her friends but is constantly making blunders, is one that always makes me smile when I read it. I especially like the descriptions of Emma's neighbors and of Highbury. Indeed, the novel is so vivid I feel as if I could This was the perfect book to reread during my Christmas break. I am a devoted fan of Jane Austen's work, but even so, I find "Emma" to be particularly charming and insightful. The story of the "handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse, who is determined to be a matchmaker among her friends but is constantly making blunders, is one that always makes me smile when I read it. I especially like the descriptions of Emma's neighbors and of Highbury. Indeed, the novel is so vivid I feel as if I could walk to the village and buy some fabric at Ford's, then call on Miss Bates and Miss Jane Fairfax — perhaps I will see Mrs. Elton there — and I shall return to Hartfield for a visit with Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley, which will be the first time I will have heard any sense spoken all day. I admit I get irritated when people write off Austen's novels as mere romances, when there is so much social commentary going on. What struck me anew as I read this book (I think for my fourth time) is how well the idiosyncrasies of each character are observed. So many traits remind me of people I actually know! This novel was published in 1815, but the egos, presumptions, shrewdness and foibles of each person are just as real today. The endless, silly chatter of Miss Bates, the duplicitous dealings of Mr. Frank Churchill and the snobby arrogance of Mr. Elton are so authentic that I frequently paused to laugh at who I was reminded of. And every time Mrs. Elton spoke, I was terrified of ever seeming like her: "self-important, presuming, familiar, ignorant and ill-bred. She had a little beauty and a little accomplishment, but so little judgment that she thought herself coming with superior knowledge of the world, to enliven and improve a country neighborhood." Luckily the story also has the wisdom of Mr. Knightley and the friendly counsel of Mrs. Weston to keep us grounded. Some of my favorite lines in the book are from Mr. Knightley: "Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief." "Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives." "A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals." "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it." "My Emma, does not everything serve to prove more and more the beauty of truth and sincerity in all our dealings with each other?" I give this novel 5 stars for its keenness, beauty and delightfulness. Update I want to address some of the comments from GR friends. I think it's true that a fair number of readers do not enjoy "Emma" as much as Jane Austen's other novels because of frustrations with the main character. Emma thinks she knows better than everyone else, she makes some foolish decisions, she is filled with self-importance and she can be vain. All true, and yes, those are unlikable qualities. But I like Emma in spite of that, because I enjoy laughing at the situations. Emma reminds me of so many young people who do think they know everything and who refuse to take the advice of their elders. It also helps knowing that Emma does learn from her mistakes and that she is making wiser decisions by the end of the book. Some character growth and a happy ending make me like her more. Jane Austen anticipated that Emma would be a "character whom no one but me will much like.” Well, I like her. I do understand why Emma is not be considered a favorite of the Austen heroines, but I will continue to find her amusing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Renato Magalhães Rocha

    "With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley." Regarded as one of Jane Austen's most important works, Emma is a novel about a handsome, clever and rich young woman - Miss Woodhouse - who lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield, in the Surrey village of H "With insufferable vanity had she believed herself in the secret of everybody's feelings; with unpardonable arrogance proposed everybody's destiny. She was proved to have been universally mistaken. She had brought evil on Harriet, on herself, and she too much feared, on Mr. Knightley." Regarded as one of Jane Austen's most important works, Emma is a novel about a handsome, clever and rich young woman - Miss Woodhouse - who lives on the fictional estate of Hartfield, in the Surrey village of Highbury with her hypochondriac father. The story begins when Miss Taylor, her former governess and the mother figure who raised her (Emma's real mother is dead) marries a neighbor - Mr. Weston - and leaves Hartfield. Emma is now left alone with her father, whom she adores and is devoted to. Seen as society's best, Emma seems to have everything she needs to be happy and satisfied: beauty, money, intelligence, class and talent. Everyone admires her and it seems she can do no wrong: except for Mr. Knightley, the brother of her sister Isabel's husband, and who also lives near Hartfield. He's known Emma since she was a little girl and is the only one who feels free to tell her the truth, sincerely give her his opinions and advise her against her selfishness and arrogance. Austen was bold to write and name a book after a character that's not really likable - which happens in Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (see my review) as well, who coincidentally was also named Emma - or at least is not instantly likable. We're presented to an immature and spoiled person who takes on intents of pairing up couples - perhaps even with good intentions - but ultimately playing with other people's lives. Harriet Smith, a "project" she chooses for herself is her biggest victim. Led to believe by Emma that she's better than suitor Robert Martin, Harriet turns down his marriage proposal that she was initially inclined to accept. This is the first of a series of disservices that Emma does to Miss Smith. Believing the clergyman Mr. Elton was more suited as a husband for her friend, Miss Woodhouse embarks on schemes and manipulations to play the role of a matchmaker. Blindsided by her snobbery, she never realizes that Mr. Elton has his eyes set on her instead of her good and willing pupil. Decided to never get married herself, Emma is appalled when Mr. Elton declares his love to her and turns him down. Here, it's important to note that Austen never uses narration as means to indisputably lay out all of her character's inner feelings. Instead, she wonders about their reasons and has us trying to guess what lies beneath their actions. Why would the most prominent household in Highbury wish to never get married? Does she believe she's too good for every man she knows or is there a fear of rejection in the mix somewhere? Could it be a fear of change? Things are shaken up and change does seem to be on its way to the village's trite life when Frank Churchill - Mr. Weston's son by his first marriage who was raised by his aunt - comes to visit his father and is introduced to Emma. Instantly drawn to each other, they bond and it seems a marriage between the two is all the Westons can hope for the near future. Intimately confabulating at all social events, Emma and Frank seem to have no scruples on conjecturing about Jane Fairfax – Jane, the young niece of Miss Bates, is seen by everyone to be Emma’s equal and Emma has some rivalry feelings towards her –, who is believed to be involved in a love triangle back at London, where she was brought up and raised by the Campbells. We learn later, however, that this union the Westons longed for was never among Frank's designs and that he has been playing everyone all along. Austen masterfully uses Frank's duplicity and actions as a parallel to Emma's schemes and manipulations as her own intentions were never completely out in the open as well. But it isn't with satisfaction we become aware that Emma's been toyed with for we're already warming up to her ways and witnessing the beginning of her redemption at this point: it all starts with a strong reprimand from Mr. Knightley after a malicious remark she makes to and about Miss Bates; this brings Emma to tears and she realizes not only that her line was unpleasant, but that she's been unfair to Jane Fairfax and to her good friend Harriet as well. In the end, Emma played with fire. Fortunately for her, consequences weren't as harmful as they could have been and she ended up actually growing as a person and learning from her faults. Could she have avoided mostly everything she and her friends went through? Probably yes. Would she be the person she is by the end of the book? Probably not. Would she be mature enough to realize what was right in front of her and to make the right decision she did that ultimately changed her life? Definitely not. Rating: for Austen's ever present wit and irony and for her magistral account of Emma's inner development, 4 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dilushani Jayalath

    Ms Austen once said, she would create a heroine that no one would like but herself, I am not quite sure she had achieved it. Yes at first Emma's meddling ways really did get on my nerves but as I managed to get to the end I was thoroughly charmed by her. As everyone most probably knows I am quite the Jane Austen fan and since recently have been re-reading most of her books to reignite my passion in classics (calling it classics is a long shot but I take it. Compared to the contemporary novels th Ms Austen once said, she would create a heroine that no one would like but herself, I am not quite sure she had achieved it. Yes at first Emma's meddling ways really did get on my nerves but as I managed to get to the end I was thoroughly charmed by her. As everyone most probably knows I am quite the Jane Austen fan and since recently have been re-reading most of her books to reignite my passion in classics (calling it classics is a long shot but I take it. Compared to the contemporary novels that are found now, it is indeed a classic but in my notion books of much older age can be considered classics too. This is a notion that I have constantly been making). Austen is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books of this era and Emma unfortunately had not taken a lot of my interest. With my recent exposure to the lovely latest adaption by Autumn de Wilde (my favorite so far. It was a pure joy watching it), my interest in the book was begun again and let me say that I enjoyed the book so much that I am willing to say I might even come close to liking it more than Pride and Prejudice (yes, the blasphemy on my part but I really loved reading Emma this time round). While re-reading can i just stress on how much I loved the character of Mr. Knightley. In true honesty I would surmise that I loved each and every character more this time round. Emma too, as I mentioned earlier, I have found a lot of more joy in reading it all around. It is Ms Austen, I could not say anything further than goodness for her. The manner in which she allows us to gaze through the window of past so seemingly natural even at this age is astonishing and further proof of how well she is as an author. Even though she had obstacles such as writing in secrecy at first, she manages to establish her career as an author with fervor and was loved at her time and loved even further now. It is in completely biased judgement that I put this forward. Many professional critiques around the world have found many flaws in Ms Austen's work, but me myself being her ardent fan am not gonna comment on that and stay true to the personal opinion of mine that she is without a doubt one of the best authors to walk the earth.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.