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Trace the change in Emma's attitude to matchmaking through the novel and show how her sense of responsibility evolves as her attitudes in this area are progressively changed

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Introduction

Trace the change in Emma's attitude to matchmaking through the novel and show how her sense of responsibility evolves as her attitudes in this area are progressively changed Austen commences the novel by describing Emma Woodhouse. Emma is a beautiful, wealthy, well-educated young woman who was born and raised in a sheltered, upper-class environment. She is "handsome, clever, and rich with a comfortable home and happy disposition...and had lived twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." Emma's life centers on herself and her father. Her mother passed away years earlier and therefore has been the mistress for most her life.Her governess for sixteen years, Miss Taylor, imposed little "restraint" on her actions and the "shadow of authority" had long since "passed away." Emma does what she wants and is guided only by her own judgment. Her "disposition to think a little too well of herself" are identified by Austen as the "real evils of her situation". ...read more.

Middle

Her existence has been too privileged. She has been made to feel too important and has received far too much praise from her peers. She has not had to earn the respect of others, or acknowledge a superior authority. As a consequence, she lacks self-discipline, has no reason to work, and therefore fails to develop the full potential of such an intelligent woman. She is arrogant, egotistical and controlling. She overrates her capacities and is too confident of her knowledge, judgment and perception. Because she is accustomed to having reality arranged for her, she is given to fantasizing and to assuming that things are probably as she wishes or imagines them to be. She has a weakness for flattery and for people who feed her ego. She tries to avoid competition, to cut down rivals, and to evade unpleasant realizations. Mr Knightley warns her against her plans on Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bates. Emma believes that Mr. Knightley has a secret love for Jane because he is always complementing her as a woman who is very sensitive and well-bred and who does not make the same mistakes or carry the same conceited attitude as Emma. This idea provokes Emma to realize her own feelings toward Mr. Knightley as well as her own feelings of insecurity. The incidents between Emma and Jane allow Emma to reach a higher level of maturity, understanding and self-awareness. Emma is able to learn from her insecurity about her own faults. During a conversation with Mr. Knightley regarding Jane, Mr Knightley is able to tell Emma that Jane exemplifies all of the qualities which she should strive to emulate. He states, "Jane Fairfax has feeling...her sensibilities, I suspect, are strong and her temper excellent in its power of forbearance, patience and self-control.".Emma then begins to realize that she must rethink her rude and insensitive treatment of others and recognize her own errors in judgment in order to be worthy of Mr. Knightley . Bottom of Form Michael Mitchell Timed Emma Essay 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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