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|Emma, Class and Mr Knightley
Written by BarbaraB
(1/29/2011 11:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Snob, penned by Bridget D
You're right that within the time-frame of the story, Emma has every right to not speak to Mr. Martin and not be considered rude. She has the distinction of rank and is certainly within her right. Mr. Martin follows the protocol. He respectfully acknowledges her presence by looking at her and when she makes no move to be introduced he turns his attention to Harriet.
And yes Mr. Knightley is upset that Emma is taking a girl and attempting to elevate her into the gentry when she has no proof that her questionable birth is anything otherwise. He feels this as a disservice to Harriet as it will make her no good as a wife on either level nor does he view Harriet's adulation of Emma as good for Emma.
I'd like to add, however, that what Mr. Knightley doesn't know is the method Emma is using to achieve her goal of taking Harriet out of Mr. Martin's influence. As it is, he considers Emma's meddling a bad idea to begin with but if he knew how Emma was achieving this, I think, if he even had an inkling of Emma's thoughts and badmouthing of any of the Martin family particularly Mr. Martin, he would hit the roof.
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