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"Discuss two chapters in which Emma(TM)s emotions and thoughts are used to engage readers"

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Introduction

"Discuss two chapters in which Emma's emotions and thoughts are used to engage readers." "Emma", by Jane Austen, is an example of the literary style "bildungsroman", which is a novel focusing on the self-improvement and knowledge-gaining of a character. Austen's eponymous heroine Emma Woodhouse must undergo a series of life-altering experiences in order to become more knowledgeable about the world around her, and also gain more understanding of herself. This is done through a series of crisis and hard-hitting aftermaths. Chapter 16 is the first "traumatic aftermath" which Emma finds herself experiencing. After the shocking ordeal the same evening with Mr. Elton announcing his being in love with her, Emma sits down to "think and be miserable" while pondering on what has happened, and what will happen next. The opening paragraph is an expression of Emma's agitated emotional turmoil. The short phrases broken up with dashes and exclamation marks indicate her disturbed, irrational thought pattern. ...read more.

Middle

The remainder of Emma's pensive meditations keeps readers engaged because her thought pattern touches individually on every aspect of the current situation. Because we are given such deep insight into Emma's thought processes and emotions, we connects more strongly with her character and therefore do not lose interest; rather, we become steadily more fascinated by her turbulent flashes of thought. Austen's third person flow of consciousness in chapter 16 in very effective in keeping readers engaged in Emma's preoccupations. Another chapter in which Emma's thoughts engage readers is chapter 47. A sudden reversal of character between Emma and Harriet results in Emma's most traumatic "aftermath" in the whole novel. Harriet causes this through her new-found confidence and snobbery, as well as her news of her assumption that she is going to marry Mr. Knightley. Throughout the chapter, Emma's being belittled and patronised by Harriet displays and ironic humour to engage readers, since Emma is finally receiving the kind of treatment she is usually accustomed to giving out. ...read more.

Conclusion

Chapter 47 is also the first chapter in which Emma's true feelings for Mr. Knightley begin to become clear. This intrigues Austen's readers because each of her novels results in the heroine's fairytale happy ending by her marriage to the man whom she is in love with. Throughout "Emma", readers are given false leads as to Emma's future husband, after the "experiences" with Mr. Elton and, more recently, with Frank Churchill. Readers become hopeful that now that Emma has a more mature understanding of love, she will achieve her "reward" with the man she truly loves. Due to Emma being the key character in the novel, readers need to be able to feel a sense of connection with her in order to want to read more than a few chapters. Austen's dramatic passages of Emma's thoughtful streams of consciousness allow readers to feel as though they know her character perfectly. This keeps us engaged throughout the novel so that we do not lose interest in the affairs of Highbury's population, and also makes "Emma" a book, and a character, which readers will not forget. ...read more.

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