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'A woman's place is to be manipulated', Discuss this with regard to the novel Emma.

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'A woman's place is to be manipulated', Discuss this with regard to the novel Emma. The regency era was very different to modern society. The position of woman can be seen as the main difference. They had to deal with the restrictions of societies expectations, from this the only reward they could receive, or goal to achieve was to get married and have financial security. Although this did not make them powerless against men, simply disadvantaged as their futures were at stake. Frank is manipulated by his mother. She has a power over him to unconsciously force him to disguise his love of Jane Fairfax. This is proof that some woman had the power to manipulate men as well. But the only woman who could do this would have to be in some considerable power. Although this is not entirely true as Jane also manipulates Frank. She becomes so tired of Franks behaviour that she manipulates him to stop. By threatening him by drastically leaving him to become a governess, he is given a shock and makes it up to her and gets her back. ...read more.


As men were seen to have power and control over the women in society, this enables Frank to take control over the relationship with Jane. By taking power he is acting as the dominant figure but also he is trying to cover up their relationship. This is done when he sends her the pianoforte and creates suspicion amongst the other characters, again showing the male dominance in the patriarchal Regency society. Another example of Franks mistreating Jane and Emma is Frank's behaviour at Box Hill. Frank continues to flirt very obviously with Emma. This causes Emma to misread his feelings. This is manipulative as Emma's feelings are being played with by Frank. Here he is also treating Jane very cruelly. Jane is obviously distressed by his spiteful behaviour. Mr Knightley's manipulation over Emma is also apparent in the novel. Mr Knightley's role in the novel is as Emma's educator. However his educating can be seen as manipulation of Emma to make her do the right thing. After Emma goes through agnorisis and her education is practically complete. ...read more.


Knightley's interference is evident at Box Hill, Mr Knightley reprimands her when she behaves inappropriately to Miss Bates. Also Mr Knightley tries to educate her further on how society operates in terms of marrying within class boundaries when she tries to match Mr Elton and Harriet. It may be observed that Mr Knightley is educating Emma and guiding her through life. However it could also be perceived as him moulding her to form a respectable and well acknowledged woman. There can be a comparison with Frank's manipulative behaviour and Mr. Knightley's. Frank's manipulation can be seen as quite harsh compared to Mr Knightley's in relation to the side effects. However Mr Knightley does relate to Frank in manipulating Emma as well, though for different reasons. Therefore we understand from this that Men did manipulate woman and it was a regular occurrence. However woman could also manipulate men and in some cases this disregards their power, class and wealth. I personally do not think that it could be someone's place to sit still and be manipulated, we understand that neither can Jane as she fights her manipulation. A woman would not simply accept a place of manipulation. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lizzie Havercroft ...read more.

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