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|Emma and Mrs/Miss Bates -- what a sad commentary on
Written by AnnetteJ
(2/11/2011 9:21 a.m.)
Emma! In Chapter 1 of Part II, the author points out that Mr Knightly has hinted to Emma that she has neglected her visits to the Bates and "not contributed what she ought to the stock of their scanty comforts....she had had many a hint form Mr Knightley and some from her own heart, as to her deficiency -- but none were equal to counteract the persuasion of its being very disagreeable -- a waste of time -- tiresome women -- and all the horror of being in danger of falling in with the second-rate and third-rate of Highbury, who were calling on them for ever.."
Does anyone else want to wash her or his hands of Emma at this point? I know I do. Mrs and Miss Bates are utterly harmless women who have come down in the world through no fault of their own, and seem to be universally beloved by the entire village, but to the rich and well-born Emma they are primarily tiresome. "Miss Thing," as we would call her where I come from, also cannot lower herself to regularly visit them because of the dangers of coming into contact with "second and third rate people!!" How dare she?! Not everyone can have a fortune of 30,000 pounds coming to them because of nothing more than an accident of birth. The second and third rate seem to have more compassion and understanding than the so-called first rate, of which we know Emma considers herself, as they are "forever" visiting the Bates women, while Emma just thinks about it. Not a nice young woman at all at this point in time. Still waiting for her to get her comeuppance!
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