• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17

How does Jane Austen present the themes of love and marriage in the novel Emma?

Extracts from this document...


Emma Question: How does Jane Austen present the themes of love and marriage in the novel Emma? Answer: Jane Austen's novels incorporate her observations on the manners of her time and class, and while they often relate courtship, love, and marriage, Austen herself never married. In the essay below I will be discussing how the author, Jane Austen, presents the themes of love and marriage in the novel Emma. The novel Emma is about a young woman who is interested in matchmaking. Emma is the central character, who is the daughter of wealthy gentleman, her mother died when she was young leaving her to be brought up by Miss Taylor. The novel is essentially a story of how Emma matures from a clever young woman to a more modest and considerate woman. By using Emma as the central character, using authorial comments, beginning the novel with an example of what makes a perfect marriage and through couples who get married and couples who might have got married, Austen has chosen to present the themes of love and marriage. At the novels beginning Jane Austen introduces things she sees as the fundamentals of a marriage, which are always echoing in the back. In the first chapter the novel's title character, Emma Woodhouse is introduced. She is the youngest of two daughters. She has no mother and a father who imposes no limits on her behaviour or self-satisfaction. While her mother died long ago, Emma was brought up by Miss Taylor. Just as the novel begins Miss Taylor has just married Mr Weston leaving Emma short of a companion. Emma feels the loss of Miss Taylor, who was "peculiarly interested in herself, in every pleasure, every scheme of hers - one to whom she could speak every thought as it arose, and who had such an affection for her as could never find fault" (page 6). ...read more.


After Emma has opened herself to the idea of falling in love with Frank Churchill, she realises that she does not in fact love him. She does not love Frank Churchill because she exists so well with him and without him. Still, although she does not love Frank Churchill, she enjoys all his attention. However, Emma continues to make the same mistakes. She has not learned from the match between Mr Elton and Harriet and fancies the idea of making a match between Frank Churchill and Harriet. Mr Elton has found a perfect match in Augusta Hawkins: a woman as dull and socially conscious as he is. Mrs Elton constantly offers her own superiority and treats the members of Highbury society with much less respect. As bad as Mrs Elton's manners are, they are made worse by her position in society. Her snobbery and comparisons of Hartfield to Maple Grove are made worse by the fact that her connections in Maple Grove are wealthy but lower class. She even calls Mr Knightly by his first name. This continues the idea found in Emma that social class determines proper manners. Mrs Elton does not know her proper rank in society. Emma is quite crucial about whom she likes and dislikes, and once she decides that she dislikes Mrs Elton, there is little chance that she will change her opinion. In fact her opinion of Mrs Elton does change: it becomes worse. Once again status plays a consideration. Emma dislikes Mrs Elton because she presumes herself to be higher in society than she actually is, believing that her connections at Maple Grove make her quite respectable. This chapter (35) reveals the fate of Jane Fairfax, since she is not from a wealthy family, although was raised by one; she must go into a profession as a governess. As raised by the Campbell's, she was part of the elite and lived as Emma does now. ...read more.


Both require partners who will bring out their best qualities while controlling their worst qualities. Frank Churchill and Emma indulge each other's pride and immaturity, but with the influence of Jane Fairfax and Mr Knightly, Frank and Emma become more sensible and decent persons. In Emma the relationships that work best are those in which the partners complement each other but do not resemble one another; Mr and Mrs Elton share a vulgar attention to social status and an utter lack of consideration for others feelings. But Jane Fairfax counters Frank's frail character with a reserved manner, Robert Martin is sensible where Harriet Smith is foolish and gullible, and Mr Knightly is observant where Emma misjudges situations. Harriet writes to Emma about Robert Martin, and admits that she was stupid to consider Mr Knightly. Harriet learns about her parents: her father was a respectable tradesman who could provide for her stay at Mrs Goddard's school. Emma meets Robert Martin and becomes convinced that Harriet will be happy with him. Harriet marries Robert Martin, and later, after Mr Woodhouse has agreed, Emma marries Mr Knightly. Everything is set right in this chapter: Harriet becomes a respectable member of society when she learns of her family connections and finds happiness with Robert Martin. She is, as Emma had hoped, from a decent family. Not surprisingly, Mr Woodhouse becomes supportive of his daughter's marriage when he thinks it will benefit his own comfort. He agrees to the marriage after a number of robberies, for he thinks that Mr Knightly's presence at Hartfield will keep him safe. Emma finally marries Mr Knightly after the wedding Mr and Mrs knightly go on vacation to the ocean the first instance in the novel in which Emma leaver Highbury. Overall the ways in which Jane Austen presents the themes of love and marriage on the novel 'Emma' is significant. She shows them through a number of ways and portrays them significantly. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. Compare and Contrast how Jane Austen Represents Social Class In Emma and Pride and ...

    decorum, prudence, nay, interest forbid it' (56,336), to lady Catherine's outburst, Elizabeth retaliates 'in marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal.'

  2. Jane Austen - Emma"I am going to take a heroine whom no one but ...

    The basic movement of Emma is from delusion to self-recognition, from illusion to reality. In the beginning she is loveable enough, but has much to learn. It takes supreme courage on Austen's behalf to portray a girl, meant to win and keep the reader's fancy, with the characteristics frankly ascribed to Emma Woodhouse.

  1. Do you believe that Austen's final title; Pride and Prejudice is a more appropriate ...

    Austen explores judgement in her novel by presenting her reader with a series of judgements they themselves must make, often co-inciding with those made by Elizabeth. We also need judgements to explore other characters; sometimes Austen uses one character's opinions on another to give us as view of them.

  2. Pride and Prejudice chapter 19. In this chapter we see Elizabeths response towards ...

    to her "that is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept" at this point he is trying to say Elizabeth is maybe shy to say yes, Austen shows the readers that Mr.

  1. Is Northanger Abbey truly a Gothic Romance?

    Catherine has little experience or perception unlike a typical heroine and her naivety is shown throughout the novel, often humorously. Towards the end she begins to become a better judge of character, and feels of Isabella; 'ashamed of having ever loved her".

  2. Discuss the function of setting in the presentation of Jane Austen's main concerns in ...

    a real, honest, old-fashioned boarding school...where girls may be sent out the way and scramble themselves in to a little education, without any danger of bringing back prodigies" We are shown the kind of education girls would have received at the time, a middle class education.

  1. "'Frau Brechenmacher' is a cry against the stupidity and brutality of men and the ...

    She has completely succumbed to him as she lets him "lurch" at her again in the end of the story. Mansfield shows us that Frau Brechenmacher accepts the routine of being the inferior one, as 'Dressing in the dark was nothing to Frau Brechenmacher' suggests to us of her willingness to accept Herr Brechenmacher's attitude.

  2. Jane Austen said of Emma 'she is a character who no-one but myself will ...

    I find Emma to be a typical human by the way she acts. Emma has her own opinions and voices them out if what others are saying or doing her is against. This shows Emma as a strong minded individual and doesn't believe in the way society is governed, to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work