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How do you as a modern reader, respond to Austen's presentation of Mr. Knightley's guidance of Emma in the novel as a whole?

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Introduction

Emma After the episode at Box Hill, Mr. Knightley says to Emma, 'I must once more speak to you as I have been used to do: a privilege rather endured than allowed, perhaps, but I must still use it.' How do you as a modern reader, respond to Austen's presentation of Mr. Knightley's guidance of Emma in the novel as a whole? It can be said that Emma is a novel which is based on morals and manners. In the society, and the people in which Jane Austen deals with, we see the high expectations, the pride and mainly good use of manners in their community. George Knightley is considered to be a well mannered and respectable man, and we are shown good reasons to believe so, on many occasions. He is thought of as a 'good-catch', being rich with 'old money', and having very high status, but does not show any signs of snobbery to or against another person. In addition, Mr Knightley has many good qualities, and we can see how fond Austen is of her 'faultless' character. ...read more.

Middle

Her father does not realise of her need of love and support, and therefore continues to act like a selfish child who needs a great deal of care, consequently ending up with Emma caring and concerning for her father and not concentrating on her own needs. Although we see of her and her sister's closeness, Isabella has her own life and is away from their estate for most of the year. As a result Mr Knightley shows to be the only one capable and willing around her, to help her through and towards her development. As Mr. Knightley acts as Emma's 'mentor' throughout the novel, we see on many occasions, him upsetting her with the truth, them in conflict, and a lot of realisation about oneself. When she boasts of her persuading Harriet to decline Robert Martin's marriage proposal, as she is certain of Mr. Elton's love for Harriet, we see Mr. Knightley fuming with rage at her, as she does not realise the consequences of her actions, and the damage she will cause for the people involved. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be seen as a self-analysis, which truly shows her willingness to develop. Even as a modern reader, it seems that Austen is simply showing two peoples love for each other, in which they both work hard to persist. Mr. Knightley cares a great deal for Emma, and we can see that all his stern and honest ways in which he has dealt with her throughout the novel, have all been on the grounds of his love for her, as a friend, a companion and a man. He is sensible and truthful during the narrative, which is how Austen gains our trust for him. He has helped her comprehend many difficult situations on many occasions, but she has also helped him to maybe not be so serious and untrusting. And it seems as though Emma realises this near the ending of the novel, whilst discussing the situation of herself and Mr. Knightley, and the situation of Frank and Jane, to Frank Churchill himself. Though at times Mr. Knightley has maybe seemed harsh and cold towards Emma, it has made her improve and mature in character greatly, ending with her fine development. ?? ?? ?? ?? Stephanie Michaelides ...read more.

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