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|Emma's attitude to her governess
Written by Nikki N
(1/27/2011 1:29 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Selective snobbery?, penned by Ramya
Emma certainly never treated Miss Taylor as a servant. A governess was not exactly a servant, even in that era, it was the only profession opend to gentlewpomen, but many proud and inconsiderate employers often treated their governesses like servants. A 19th century governess often occupied a very lonely position -- she could not mix freely with the servants because she was "above" them, and could not associate freely with the family becasue she was "beneath" them.
In this case, however, Mr Woodhouse was a gentle, kindly man, and his daughters had lost their mother and needed a mother figure --
And in chap 5, when Mrs Weston disagreed with Mr Knightley about the dangers of Emma's intimacy with harriet, Mrs Weston said --
Miss Taylor was a mother figure for Emma.
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