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|Best Judge of her Happiness
Written by Robbin
(2/7/2011 12:52 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, John Knightley and Mr Elton, penned by Nikki N
I agree Emma’s inability to realize Elton is courting her instead of Harriet is annoying but there is explanation for her blindness in her faults. First “the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself” (1) and the fact she “will never submit to… a subjection of the fancy to the understanding” (5). I guess these evils also contribute to her inability to discover Mr. Elton’s true character. Emma can rationalize with the best but it still seems to me an outright lie and obvious affectation are clear warning signs of poor character that she sees but fails to take seriously. BarbaraB (:D) makes a great point in noting Mr. Elton’s overboard, overblown courting behavior towards Emma (she thinks Harriet) becomes a negative and thus a clue to his basic character.
I agree John begins by teasing Emma about Mr. Elton because he assumes she sees what he sees but realizing she doesn’t speaks out “as a friend” (13) and brother: “You had better look about you, and ascertain what you do, and what you mean to do” (13). He is telling Emma make sure of this man and act according to your feelings. Although his comment “when he has ladies to please every feature works” might suggest otherwise it does not appear to me John was approving or disapproving of a match. I think perhaps, like Edmund Bertram, Mr. John Knightley can “allow his sister to be the best judge of her own happiness” (MP, 4) but while the sentiment has particular charm I am not sure at this point if Emma really is the best judge of her own happiness. She has made a mess in trying to be the best judge of Harriet’s happiness.
Thanks for reading! (:D)
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