• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"In Jane Austen's 'Emma', Marriage appears to have more to do with the kind of negotiations associated with business mergers rather than anything to do with a love affair."How far would you agree?

Extracts from this document...


"In Jane Austen's 'Emma', Marriage appears to have more to do with the kind of negotiations associated with business mergers rather than anything to do with a love affair." How far would you agree? In this essay, I am going to give my views on the title. I am going to do it by considering the presentation of the courtship and/or marriage of two couples. The couples I will use are Harriet Smith and Robert Martin and Emma Woodhouse and Frank Churchill. Although this partnership of Emma is not 'realised' in the novel, it is proposed and pushed by Mr and Mrs Weston. I will also look at the text in relation to how my ideas on marriage in their culture are influenced by the text. I will also be stating my own personal response. I decided to use Harriet Smith and Robert Martin as one of my couples because I wanted to include in my essay about Emma's matchmaking efforts with Harriet and it was a marriage that came together at the end of the novel. ...read more.


The first is that it increases her social status, as it emerges late in the novel that her father was a tradesman, rather than the nobility, as Emma had suggested. The second reason this marriage is a good step for Harriet is that she is madly in love with Robert Martin. To me this is obvious throughout the novel, from when they meet in the forest and she is telling Emma all about her summer at the Martins house and her little cow to when she rejects his first proposal on Emma's interference to the visit to his house with Emma to the eventual marriage at the end of the text. Emma fancied herself as a matchmaker and for most of the novel, Harriet has been someone she is determined to set up with a respectable male. First she decides that Mr Elton is the one for her but that is thrown back in her face when he comes on to her in the carriage. Then she thinks that Harriet has a liking for Frank Churchill, after he saved her from the gypsies when really it is Mr Knightley that Harriet is crazy about because he saved her at the ball. ...read more.


This is re-iterated by the character of Miss Bates. She couldn't find a husband so her social status declined rapidly and Emma barely regards her as a part of the nobility as she lives a poor woman's life, looking after her elderly mother and getting by on the bare minimum. You can see Emma's views on Miss Bates when she cracks that horrible joke at the Boxhill picnic and Miss Bates quietly dissolves into a puddle of embarrassment. By writing this essay and reading the novel 'Emma', I have realised that life in the early 19th century was a lot harder for some people than others. Those at a great advantage are obviously the landed gentry but, from Miss Bates you see that even for them things don't always turn out rosy. I am happy that things turn out well for Harriet Smith and that she finally makes her own decision on Robert Martins proposal rather than looking for Emma's blessing because Harriet could have been happy a lot sooner if Emma hadn't strongly advised her to turn him down the first time. ...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. How does Jane Austen present the themes of love and marriage in the novel ...

    Letters in 'Emma' are not only the major means of long-distance communication, but symbolise the worth of the person. Though Emma is impressed with the letter, she still continues to criticise Robert Martin. The nature of the letter tells us that Robert Martin is serious about Harriet smith and that

  2. The society of Jane Austen's time and period, being early nineteenth century rural England, ...

    Aphorisms and epigrams indicate the darker sides to apparent light-hearted tones throughout the novel. "A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her." This is an aphorism, showing Austin's use of wit. This statement draws attention to the plight of many women in Austen's society,

  1. An exploration of Jane Austen's use of the outdoors in Emma

    When she learns that he rescued her friend from the band of gypsies in a woodland road, she seemingly recreates the scenario in her head as a scene from a romantic novel, and is persuaded that a situation like that could not arise without "suggesting certain ideas" of attraction.

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

    We also read a different persons opinion of frank Churchill's character "Mr. knightly who for some reason had taken an early dislike to Mr. Churchill." It's as if by reading this quote that the author is patronizing and suggests that frank is harmless for the way which he shows kindness is through flattery.

  1. How far do you agree with the critic that argues there are two Darcys?

    fact to be extremely cruel, as we see when Lydia's youth is exploited, and she is nearly brought to ruin by Wickham, they wish her to 'come upon the town' to make interesting conversation. So when considering his situation it seems no wonder he reacted in a more aloof manor,

  2. The turn of the screw.

    Amelia, which the governess is reading just before Quint appears to her on the stairs, contains an "enemy", "adventurer", "criminal". These words used to describe Quint in the final paragraph, are derived from this book. The plot of this book focuses upon a woman who shows great loyalty to her man, something we see as characteristic of our governess.

  1. How does this evocation fit with your reading of the relationship between Emma and ...

    Harriet has already reached her full potential. Hartfield, where Emma lives is a quiet place especially since she has grown up and her sister has moved away and early on in chapter four there seems to be another reason as to why Emma wants to be friends with Harriet, 'the young friend she wanted - exactly the

  2. ‘The reader’s response to Emma is often a mixture of sympathy and impatience. ...

    She even dictates the answer, and here she is becoming too involved with Harriet's affairs. Even though Emma takes over the narration from Jane Austen, the reader is able to see through Emma's faults and see that Robert Martin is a very amiable man who would make a very good husband for Harriet.

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