Monday, August 3, 2015

Emma- Week 4 (Chapters 16-20) (Also Austen in August!)

I'm sorry this post is coming out later today than I normally have them out. I just started working night shift this past weekend so I haven't really been functioning normally since then. :(

A little FYI, but over at Roof Beam Reader there is an Austen in August event going on. Since we are all reading Emma right now I thought I'd just let you all know in case you want to join in. There's giveaways and other fun stuff as well. :)

So we are now on chapters 16-20 of Emma. Emma goes through a lot of musing in the first chapter as to Mr. Elton's proposal. I think Emma feels properly mortified at what she had done to Harriet. I noted this time that at the same time as Emma is degrading Mr. Elton for being proud she is being incredibly proud!

We also got to hear Miss Bates for the first time so far in the novel. I didn't realize she didn't actually speak until this late in the book though she's been mentioned before. Of course we also are introduced to Jane as well.
Here's a couple questions to ponder on.

  • When Emma evaluates her confusion about Mr. Elton and Harriet, she concludes that Elton was partly responsible. Why? Is this fair to Elton? 
  • Why do you think Emma doesn't want to be friends with Jane yet wants to be friends with Harriet when according to her normally proud standards, Jane would be the person she would be friends with? 
  • Do you agree with Mr. Knightley that if Frank Churchill wanted to come visit his father he would? 
  • Frank Churchill is a character we have not met yet but has been talked of much. What is your opinion of him from what you've heard? 
  • We were introduced to some new characters in these last couple chapters, what are your opinions on them? 
  • Has your views on previously introduced characters changed at all? If so how? 
  • Please comment with your thoughts. As always, even if you're not a part of the read-along feel free to comment with your thoughts! If you are not already a part of this read-along but want to join in you're welcome as well. We're not that far in so there's plenty of time to catch up! I'm really enjoying this read-along and there's so much that I've missed before that has become obvious this time around. :)

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    1. Even though I never really liked Mr. Elton, I do feel kind of sorry for him because Emma puts so much blame on him. He thought Emma was encouraging him, and he only acted nicely to Harriet because of Emma, so I don't think she was really fair to Mr. Elton.

      I think I am much more sympathetic with Jane so far during this reread. I have begun to like her more because she's the type of person I would have liked to have known. I think that Emma does not want to become friends with her because she is tired of hearing of Jane since her youth, and it would be tiring for her to have to actually be with her in person. Another reason, which I think Emma senses, is that Jane would take attention away from herself. Since Emma is used to being the center of attention, I don't think she would like it too much if someone, who she's been tired of most of her life, took that attention away from her.

      Thanks for mentioning the giveaway! :-)

      1. I agree. I think he's only nice to Harriet because of Emma... however that just goes to show he really was just a snob and probably would not have noticed Harriet at all if she hadn't been Emma's friend.
        I think Jane is definitely the kind of person I would have liked to known better. She really is sweet.... just reserved. I think Emma does love attention and maybe not directly thinks she deserves but unknowingly thinks she does and Jane takes it away from her though she knows that Jane deserves attention more than she does because she is far more talented.

    2. Yes, I agree--I think Emma is envious of any attention that Jane receives because she wants all the attention for herself. I also think it's a kind of personality clash--Emma regards Jane's reserved manner as a challenge, or even an insult, not realizing that that's just the way Jane IS. Like, at the end of ch. 20, Emma tries to make Jane tell her all about Mr. Dixon and Jane refuses (politely) to tell her anything whatever about him, and Emma gets really annoyed with her. Which is unreasonable, because Emma has no real right to demand to know what Jane thinks about him.

      1. Good point on personality clash! Emma and Jane are rather opposites.


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