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|Enigmatic Emma strikes again.... (a longish quote)
Written by jeffrey
(2/1/2011 5:10 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Clever, good sense, good daughter, kind sister, true friend, penned by Stephanie
From Ch 10, what can we learn about Emma from this passage? Does she do the benevolence because she is asked to or told to or is it of her own volition? I am hopeful that Miss Austen is portraying her goodness here:
"....They were now approaching the cottage, and all idle topics were superseded. Emma was very compassionate; 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. She understood their ways, could allow for their ignorance and their temptations, had no romantic expectations of extraordinary virtue from those, for whom education had done so little; entered into their troubles with ready sympathy, and always gave her assistance with as much intelligence as good-will. In the present instance, it was sickness and poverty together which she came to visit; and after remaining there as long as she could give comfort or advice, she quitted the cottage with such an impression of the scene as made her say to Harriet, as they walked away....."
And then almost immediately after that, Emma and Miss Smith are met by Mr. Elton and Emma immediately spoils her previous kind intentions by using her good deeds in a surreptious and underhanded way to attract Miss Smith and Mr. Elton together! How truly fiendish and reptilian of Emma. What a puzzle she is at this point.
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