Chapter 19

I intend to discuss chapter 19 in Emma: Jane Austin, this is a crucial chapter within the novel, as it leads many stories off giving the novel a more diverse feeling to it, these abstract plots within the novel are all a product of the main character, Emma Woodhouse. In this chapter Emma and Miss. Smith call upon Miss Bates and her elderly mother, Mrs Bates. They enter the Bates’ house much to the delight of Miss Bates, who talks incessantly and about nothing seemingly. It appears that the purpose of their unintentional visit to the Bates’ household was to catch up with the new on Miss Fairfax. Which Miss Bates talks about incessantly for what seems an eternity, but much to the interest of Emma.

This chapter introduces a new character to the story; Jane Fairfax grew up an orphan, the child of Mrs. Bates’ youngest daughter. She was taken in by Lieut. Fairfax out of kindness but inherited nothing from the family, so for her sake, it was imperative for Miss. Fairfax to marry to ensure a fruitful life, or any life where she may have self respect. Miss. Fairfax is the main focal point of the Bates’ lives, they live their life through and around Miss. Fairfax, she is loved by all the characters in the novel except for Emma, naturally Emma sees Miss. Fairfax as a rival to her success. Miss. Fairfax has all the beauty that Emma has, and more, she has the charisma and politeness that Emma has and more. Miss. Fairfax has everything that Emma is, and some, but falls short financially. Miss. Fairfax must wait until she is twenty one to receive her fathers money, but if she marries before then she will not get any, this is the reason that her engagement with Frank Churchill is kept so quiet. If Miss. Fairfax was to get her inheritance and marry, she would match and exceed Emma, this is what Emma fears. The reader is heavily affected by Emma’s views of Miss. Fairfax, the only insider view of any character in the novels thoughts of Miss. Fairfax is Emma’s, the reader adopts her dislike for Miss. Fairfax, mainly because they want to adopt the thought of the most successful character in the novel. But Emma has a sympathy spot for Miss. Fairfax, she sympathises with the fact that if Miss. Fairfax does not marry, she will be an unsupported spinster, but little does Emma know that Miss. Fairfax will soon become Mrs. Frank Churchill.

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 Emma and Miss. Smith call in at the Bates’ house, despite their low status in society, the Bates’ are well thought of by the people of Highbury for their kindness and their endless hospitality, Emma is told by John Knightley that he should be more patient towards the Bates’, and that she should give them more time. Emma originally uses the Bates’ house as a distraction from herself and Miss. Smith’s conversations over Mr. Elton; in Emma’s ‘kindness’ she wants to save Miss. Bates’ feelings by diverting her attention from Mr. Elton, so she takes her to see the Bates’. ...

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