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|Duty of Woman by Woman
Written by Robbin
(2/13/2011 7:41 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, She shares her idea with Frank, penned by Glenn
Thanks for bringing this up. (:D) It is true Emma shares her suspicions with Frank and I must say this is only one of the reasons this week’s chapters have made me terribly disappointed in Emma. After the Cole’s party Emma is not quite easy in the confidence:
She doubted whether she had not transgressed the duty of woman by woman, in betraying her suspicions of Jane Fairfax's feelings to Frank Churchill. It was hardly right; but it had been so strong an idea, that it would escape her, and his submission to all that she told, was a compliment to her penetration which made it difficult for her to be quite certain that she ought to have held her tongue. (27)
IMO Emma should not be easy. I feel she has done Jane a definite wrong in giving voice to suspicions of which she has not the slightest bit of evidence beyond what her fancy would conjure. She told her suspicions to a gentleman with whom she is barely acquainted and who gives the appearance of frivolity in traveling thirty-two miles round trip to have his hair cut (25). Emma really has no idea if Frank Churchill will keep her suspicions to himself and I think his flattery is disturbing her senses. His compliment of believing all she says (26) is making Emma wonder if she may have been right to confide in him after all.
By letting her suspicions escape her Emma has done a “Miss Bates”. I hope she will realize it and have some compassion on the poor lady’s propensity to “tell every thing relative to every body” (10) around her:
I must tell you what an unlucky thing happened to me, as to that. I always make a point of reading Jane's letters through to myself first, before I read them aloud to my mother, you know, for fear of there being any thing in them to distress her. Jane desired me to do it, so I always do: and so I began to-day with my usual caution; but no sooner did I come to the mention of her being unwell, than I burst out quite frightened with, 'Bless me! poor Jane is ill!' which my mother, being on the watch, heard distinctly, and was sadly alarmed at. …But I cannot imagine how I could be so off my guard! (19)
I agree Frank is playing a game (27) with Emma’s suspicions and there is a great potential it could distress Jane. While Emma is guilty of giving him this particular ammunition I don’t think she is guilty of turning his wit upon Miss Fairfax. He ungallantly described Jane’s complexion as “naturally so pale, as almost always to give the appearance of ill health. A most deplorable want of complexion.” (24) after Emma asked how he had found her the day before. I wonder if the reason Emma was so unguarded with her suspicions is that from his stated lack of interest in Jane it appears Frank is the only other person in her circle aside from Harriet not in the heights of admiration with Miss Fairfax. (:D)
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