Emma Essay, Research Paper
On the surface level, Emma appears to be a novel about the affections and one’s struggle to find the perfect mate. However this may be this case, another theme jointly exists with the previously mentioned motif, which happens to be Emma’s struggle with self-deception. Emma’s life has been hitherto relatively constant and comfortable. With turn of events such as the recent marriage of her governess, she is left alone to deal with it. Although she is greatly distressed by the news, she instantly dismisses it as a simply fact of life. I think it’s interesting to see how a natural part of life, i.e. marriage, should so violently disturb the lives of Emma and Mr. Woodhouse, who is in particular a fanatical status-quo character. Emma lead herself to believe that she is solely responsible for the marriage of her governess and is doubly pleased by her matchmaking skills. However her sense of control is greatly altered when she steps into the role of matchmaker to her newfound friend Harriet. Harriet, a young girl of unknown lineage is a student at Mrs. Goddard’s school. Emma sees the reformation and refinement of Harriet as a challenge, as she aspires to see Harriet marry a person in a higher social station. In this instance, Emma is acting in contradiction to her own philosophy, and indeed the eighteenth – century belief that people should marry within their own social class. She deludes herself that perhaps Harriet’s parents may have been some importance and therefor resolves to marry her to a higher status in life. This delusion stems directly from Emma’s willful and determined imagination. With her determined plans, she thwarts the natural selection process of a mate and by having Emma incur unexpected and unpleasant surprises. The plot pits the two main protagonists, Emma and George Knightely, against each other. Emma represents impulsive and willful imagination, whereas Knightley stands for order, rational thinking and an ultimate state of being. This clash is universally telling of many human relationships, which can be symbolized by the characteristic of two protagonists. Both Emma and Knightley represent the two extremes of human emotion from which most persons are suited whether it be at the opposite poles or somewhere in the middle. Emma continually deepens her self-deception by refusing to notice the clues as to Mr. Elton’s true feelings regarding both Harriet and herself. Her strong emotions cloud her judgements and every undesired result of an action she has served to act as the catalyst, drives her further into frustration and despair. However, Austen still paints Emma in a kind light, by writing Emma’s charitable visit to the impoverished family. The beginning of Emma’s self-revelation begins in chapter XI. In this chapter, Emma realizes Mr. Elton’s disinterest in Harriet and his attraction to herself instead. Emma was truly heart and shocked by his declaration of love. She sincerely believed that in her charades. Emma however maintains superb outward control when she is conversing with Elton, especially considering that Emma can see reality for what it is. She must now come to terms with the realities of the predicament she has created. Emma, most importantly, must admit her self-deception and flaws in her previously revered abilities. She does indeed accepts her and resolves to remedy Harriet’s given situation.
Emma, most importantly, must admit her self-deception and flaws in her previously revered abilities. She does indeed accepts her and resolves to remedy Harriet’s given situation.