Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Darlings of Enscombe & Hartfield
Written by Robbin
(2/12/2011 10:43 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, It's interesting to note.., penned by Reeba
Thanks for the kind words Reeba! (:D) You may be right. That John Knightley is “capable of being sometimes out of humour” (11) seems to be understood by the family and his transgression seems to be passed over by the others—perhaps because he is a grown man or maybe because he appears to feel his error and acts the better for it. Emma is not known to have bouts of ill humor; she is female and younger and Mr. Woodhouse’s daughter. I think behavior like John’s in Ch. 15 might not be so easily forgiven in Emma.
"Yes -- it seems to depend upon nothing but the ill-humour of Mrs. Churchill, which I imagine to be the most certain thing in the world." (14)
Emma and Frank Churchill are both the darlings of their respective houses. Good point about Mr. Knightley being the willing critic of both. Mr. Knightley is “one of the few people who could see faults in Emma… and the only one who ever told her of them” (1) and it seems Mr. Knightley is the only person of the reader’s acquaintance willing to criticize Frank (18) as well. Mrs. Weston may doubt (14) but cannot quite bring herself to criticize her new son, “one of the boasts of Highbury” (2). Frank’s visit to his father is purportedly delayed by the dependable ill humor of Mrs. Churchill but is there not similarity in that Emma’s visiting (outside of Highbury) seems to be restricted by the gentle selfishness of Mr. Woodhouse? I am very fond of Mr. Woodhouse but dare I say his gentle selfishness is also the most certain thing in the world.
Are there any other similarities in Emma and Frank’s situations? The Westons harbor a wish Emma and Frank will be a match (5) and even Emma views Frank as a possibility:
Now, it so happened that in spite of Emma's resolution of never marrying, there was something in the name, in the idea of Mr. Frank Churchill, which always interested her. She had frequently thought -- especially since his father's marriage with Miss Taylor -- that if she were to marry, he was the very person to suit her in age, character and condition. …though not meaning to be induced by him, …she had a great curiosity to see him, a decided intention of finding him pleasant, of being liked by him to a certain degree, and a sort of pleasure in the idea of their being coupled in their friends' imaginations. (14)
Is it not rich that the only gentleman Emma considers marriageable is one she only knows by report and that report filtered through the partial perception of a father who has only seen his son once a year since he was a small child. Frank Churchill is a gentleman that Emma can believe to be whatever she wants him to be—it is fodder for her imagination. Harriet is a gentleman’s daughter, Jane is either a martyr or a seductress and Frank seems “quite to belong to her” (14) due to their mutual family connection in Mrs. Weston. (:D)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.