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|Emma and Men - group read focus
Written by Melinda Mary
(1/28/2011 9:43 a.m.)
I think we see at the beginning of the book that Emma has taken on the management of her home and the care for her difficult father. But, what men has she had the opportunity to know well? I think Emma's refusing to see Mr. Elton as a possible suitor for herself and her inability to see Mr. Martin as a suitable partner for Harriet are indications of her confusions about sexual roles. She certainly will not learn about having a realistic understanding of relationships with Harriet. Will she learn from Mrs. Weston?
Remember, although she loves "matchmaking," we see that matchmaking as unrealistic and immature (especially through Mr. Knightley's eyes). And her father sees marriage as a huge personal disaster for "poor Miss Taylor."
So, perhaps Emma is a story of a young woman who is learning to understand attraction and maturity in adult male/female relationships? And, in future chapters, I think we see other "lessons" for Emma to learn about her heart, but I will not speak of those further here!
She is such an innocent at 21. So, my goal for this group read is finally found! How does Emma learn about herself as someone capable of adult relationships and love?
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