Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Downplaying Emma's virtues?
Written by Ramya
(1/31/2011 9:03 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Not sure I buy that -- what evidence do we have of a, penned by AnnetteJ
At this point in the novel, the narrator has intentionally enlarged Emma's faults, but her virtues are apparent too. Three of the things you mentioned do show that Emma has a good heart. In the very first chapter, we see Emma making a generous effort to keep up her father's spirits even when she is upset herself. I think it is no mean feat to be a patient daughter to poor Mr. Woodhouse- he would drive me up the wall, personally! In Chapter 12, we don't see Isabella showing the same generous understanding towards her father.
Her love and affection towards her governess speaks highly of both Emma and Mrs. Weston. With her snobbish attitude, one would think Emma would treat Miss Taylor as a subordinate, life-long companion or not. We don't hear of the Governess treated with such affection at Mansfield Park. The only person who thinks of her governess with any gratitude is Fanny. (MP 16)
I think Emma's visits to the poor are commendable too. She doesn't do charity from a distance. She actually visits them and the distresses of the poor were as sure of relief from her personal attention and kindness, her counsel and her patience, as from her purse. Ch. 11. We don't hear of Elizabeth Bennet making such personal visits to the poor. Anne Elliot (my favorite Austen heroine) makes personal farewell visits to all the people in the parish before leaving Kellynch and visits her friend Miss Smith who has come under reduced circumstances (P 5, 17), but all Marianne does is say farewll to the trees of Norland. (S&S, 5) ;-)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.