Monday, July 20, 2015

Emma- Week 2 (Chapters 6-10)

First things first.... I got a few comments from people last week that they were itching to read further. If enough of you are feeling like that I can up the reading from five chapters a week to maybe ten chapters or another number? What do you guys think?

So discussion time! I LOVED the discussion that we got going last week. If you missed out on it be sure to take a look at it HERE.

Here are this week's discussion questions and if you have further thoughts let them flow! Once again I'm stealing questions from Peter Leithart's marvelous book Miniatures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen.
  1. What kind of man is Mr. Woodhouse?
  2. What is the real evil of Emma's condition? What effects has this on her? How is she an egoist?
  3. What are the qualities necessary to provide moral guidance? How does Emma show that she lacks these qualities in her dealings with Harriet?
  4. How does Mr. Knightley display these qualities?
  5. Explain how different characters use or abuse manners?
  6. Examine several of Mr. Elton's speeches. How would you characterize his speech? What does this reveal about him?
And a continuation of last week's question.... 
  • What's your current opinion of the characters? Emma? Mr. Knightley? Harriet? Mr. Elton? Mr. Woodhouse? Ect.? Has it changed from your initial opinion? 

I know a lot of you are aware of what's going to happen in the next couple chapters but for the sake of those who don't keep spoilers to a minimum. It's times like these that I wish we had read a couple chapters more! 

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  1. Wow, great questions!

    Okay, so, qualities necessary to provide moral guidance:

    I think that, if you want to really be a good guide for another person, you must:
    a) Truly want what is best for them--morally and spiritually, not just materially. Like, Emma thinks she wants the best for Harriet because she's trying to arrange a "good match" for her, but all she's REALLY doing is convincing Harriet to forget about the man whom she loves and who loves her (yeah, I did just steal that line from G.K. Chesterton :) ) That's not what's going to be best for Harriet in the long run. Plus, she's teaching Harriet to be vain and conceited, and that's REALLY not a good thing.

    b) Understand that this person has a life of their own and needs to ultimately make their own decisions. Emma--kind of like Lady Russell in Persuasion--is, when you think about it, basically taking over Harriet's life and running it the way SHE wants to. She refuses to just leave Harriet alone to make her own choices like a responsible moral being. This is one thing I really loved about the 2009 movie--Mr. Knightley's line, "They're not your dolls, Emma! They're flesh and blood!" She IS kind of treating Harriet like a doll. It's scary, when you really stop and think about it.

    1. Great answers! These questions are definitely making me think.
      I do really like the dolls analogy in the 2009 movie. Emma is really annoying me still! It is scary and sad. Eventually I wonder if she would change Harriet's character as Harriet is easily persuaded?
      It's always okay to steal lines from G.K. Chesterton. ;)

    2. Hey, are you a Chesterton fan too??? YAY!!!!
      He's my favorite author of all time (and the complete collection of his Father Brown stories is my favorite book of all time). He's just SO quotable. When I was a teenager and I had lots of time for reading, I had whole pages of his stuff memorized :)

    3. Yes I am! I haven't read a ton of his works but I've loved what I've read and I'm looking forward to reading more. So far I've read The Innocence of Father Brown and The Man Called Thursday. I am planning to read The Wisdom of Father Brown this year.

    4. I love ALL his Father Brown stories/books, pretty much. "Heretics" and "Orthodoxy" and "The Everlasting Man" are all real winners. And his autobiography is an amazing book. "The Ball and the Cross" is kind of cool, but definitely not as good as "The Man Who Was Thursday." And his epic poem, "The Ballad of the White Horse" (about King Alfred) is incredible.

  2. I won't join in the discussion quite yet because I'm not caught up (so give me another week before you up the number of chapters!) :) I'm really enjoying revisiting these characters, though!

  3. I just have time for a quick comment this week.... but I'm still in! ;P Five chapters a week is actually great for me -- if it still works well for everyone else.

    And quick question/suggestion: do you think you could just add a little note to the future posts (either in your title or somewhere in the post itself) notating which chapters we're on? So something like: Emma Week 3, Chapters 10-15. If it's not too much trouble. I was just getting a little turned around figuring out where I was. :P

    Otherwise everything's just great. You're doing a fantastic job and it's SO fun! I'm really getting into/enjoying the story this time around. ;)

    1. So far I'm getting that she should keep it at five chapters at least for now so I think that's what I'll do. I'll definitely do that with the post titles. I was thinking yesterday about that but then forgot to do anything about it. :(


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