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|Mr. Knightley and Emma
Written by BarbaraB
(2/17/2011 11:27 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, to be entertained  by two such young women, penned by Stephanie
Nikki makes some good points to which I would like to add a few comments. I would have to go back and review the text to make a more definitive answer but my general impression is that Mr. Knightley is not expecting Emma to make friends if that is not her desire but to make friend-ly, if you know what I mean. All of Highbury, to Emma's chagrin, has expected her and Jane to be friends since babyhood and this has not come to fruition. At this point, Mr. Knightley knows that a friendship could not be forced but would like to see Emma rise above her selfcentered-ness and make a genuine attempt to have compassion for someone less fortunate.
I think Mr. Knightley also feels it would be good for Emma as well as for Jane. Emma does really need to learn how to make friends, whether with Jane or whoever, something that she doesn't know how to do or has needed to do while she had a Miss Taylor with whom she did not have to 'make' friends with but was the beneficiary of a friendship that grew out of a mother-daughter relationship. The one with Harriet is a friendship of control and not one equality. It is quite probable that Mr. Woodhouse will pass on at some point. We have seen how Emma is floundering at the 'loss' of Miss Taylor. What will her life be like when she is either rattling around at Hartfield by herself or against her own pronouncements she marries a gentleman of her own class and is expected to be a gracious hostess of her home to those she likes as well as those she dislikes?
If Emma is not able to make a change soon, she is headed down the path to being a Lady Catherine, with her own Emma-personality perhaps, but a Lady Catherine nevertheless, in my opinion. Lady Catherine as we know is a control freak, she is not a gracious host imho, she does not concern herself with the feelings of others if they are contrary to her own, she will have her way unless a person can find the strength to buck the social rules to go against her. Emma has the capacity for so much better if she can get out of her own way. :)
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