Contemporary reviewers found much to praise in them. The author's knowledge of the world, and the peculiar tact with which she presents characters that the reader cannot fail to recognize, reminds us something of the merits of the Flemish school of painting.
Marriage and social position are the primary focus of this work as the women characters, faithful to the social dynamics of the time, seek financial and social security through advantageous marriages.
Of the many genteel women in the novel, only Emma can choose to stay single without serious financial and social sacrifice. She later learns from Mr. Knightley that Harriet is the illegitimate daughter of a prosperous businessman, not a lost heiress. Each suitor whom the matchmaking Emma considers for Harriet proves to be unsatisfactory and to have matchmaking plans of his own.
The handsome village minister, Mr. Later he reveals his long-standing secret engagement to beautiful but poor Jane Fairfax. Knightley seems to be a possible husband for her compliant friend, for he does admire Harriet. Knightley is not for anyone but herself and that, unexpectedly, she is ready for marriage.
The already-married couple of Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston gradually settle into happy domestic life and announce that they expect a child of their own.
Next, the unexpected marriage of Mr. Elton to his unknown bride, Arabella Hawkins, brings social conflict to Highbury as the new Mrs. Third, the melodramatic secret engagement of Frank Churchill and the destitute Jane Fairfax shows the desperate means that lovers used to stay together despite financial problems and parental disapproval.
Finally, the novel ends with a flurry of weddings, those of the three couples created in the story but not yet married: Knightley, and Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Through marriages, these young women find their social identities and positions.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 Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, 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 Knightley is the only character who is openly critical of Emma, pointing out her flaws and foibles with frankness, out of genuine concern and care for her.
In this respect, he acts as a stand-in for Austen’s and the reader’s judgments of Emma. Check out the Jane Austen Information Page, which includes a sensual scene, the answers to the riddles and charades in Emma, and geneology charts for the characters.
DISCUSSION OF EMMA Day 1. Characters. See a complete list of the characters in Emma and in-depth analyses of Emma Woodhouse, Mr. Knightley, Frank Churchill, and Jane Fairfax. In this chapter Jane Austen begins to set up the situation from which the story line of the novel is to come, and she does this primarily through the characterization of Emma.
For the first time in her life, Emma is left to herself and her own devices. Emma study guide contains a biography of Jane Austen, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.