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How does this evocation fit with your reading of the relationship between Emma and Harriet?

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Introduction

...Emma had very early foreseen how useful she might -find her...; a Harriet Smith...one, whom she can summon at any time for a walk, would be a valuable addition to her privileges.' How does this evocation fit with your reading of the relationship between Emma and Harriet? From what the quotation title tells us, we learn straight away that Emma Woodhouse is a rich and very privileged girl and Harriet Smith is na�ve an orphan and poor, of a lower social class than her and has become her friend. She seems to be the perfect person for Emma to make use of like she did with Miss Taylor but doesn't realise that she is only being used by Emma who 'lost no time in inviting, encouraging and telling her to come very often; and as their acquaintance increased, so did their satisfaction of each other'. Emma was glad when she heard that Harriet Smith was to accompany Mrs Goddard on a trip because she 'had long felt an interest in, on account of her beauty...and the evening no longer dreaded by the fair mistress of the mansion' Emma sees Harriet as a weak and vulnerable woman, which the modern reader is most likely to agree with, and she decides to take charge of her life for her. ...read more.

Middle

This is social snobbery on Emma's part because she is assuming a lot of things, which aren't true and also brings out a bit of naivety in her. She doesn't believe that Mr Martin wrote the letter but it was not written in a woman's style. She is really afraid that Harriet will marry Mr Martin and ridiculously concludes that writing letters is his only gift. She makes up lies to put Harriet off him. Emma has only met Mr Martin once and through that meeting she let's her ideas about class form her opinion of him. She puts Harriet in a difficult position that she would rather not be in saying that if she married Mr Martin then they would never be able to be friends again. She is not a true friend to Harriet because if she was then she would accept Harriet for who she was and not try and make her a better person through her selfish ways. Emma is also emotionally blackmailing her given that she is telling Harriet that the society that Mr Martin belongs to is vulgar and illiterate. 'A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter'. ...read more.

Conclusion

From their very first meeting Emma has been very controlling of her and exercising her control telling Harriet whom she can see and meet up with. In reality, Emma actually treats Harriet quite badly and using her naivety to her advantage as she gradually gains complete control over her. 'She would detach her from society... becoming ... her leisure and her powers' she is cruel to Harriet and slowly breaks off her involvement with the Martins so that when she does eventually see them only for fifteen minutes on Emma's instruction 'they had received her doubtingly, if not coolly' The evocation that we, as a reader see, seems to fit perfectly with Emma and Harriet's relationship because Emma is so malicious and scheming although she probably doesn't mean to be malicious. Because Harriet is vulnerable and is not wise to the world, Emma is able to use Harriet for her own benefit and not because she really likes her. She sees her as someone to control now that Miss Taylor has married and instead of finding herself a teacher like her governess was to her, she finds a student, which happens to be Harriet. There are a lot of differences between Harriet and Emma but the actual relationship between them is very unequal as apparent within the novel. Emily Tamhne 03/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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