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|"Flirting excessively" at Box Hill (long)
Written by Anne-Marie
(3/4/2011 6:12 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Is Emma ever going to learn from past mistakes? (long), penned by Kathleen Glancy
Emma is still young and has a good mind and good principles so we can yet hope for improvement. But her behavior at Box Hill is so uncharacteristic! To be flirting so openly with Frank -- a man whom she has decided to turn down if he should propose -- and to do it so blatantly as to attract the attention of both Mrs. Elton and Jane, and on top of that to insult poor Miss Bates! Even Frank has said, in Ch. 30, that Miss Bates is a woman one would not wish to slight, so Emma's thoughtless remark might well have struck him in the same way it struck Mr. Knightley. I cannot help thinking that if Mrs. Weston were a member of the group, Emma would have held her tongue.
In our Emma's defense, however, she hasn't been out in company with people her own age as much as Frank and Mrs. Elton and even Jane have. She's never really learned how to deal with a high-spirited young man like Frank, and it doesn't seem to occur to her than Jane and Mrs. Elton, who are around her age, might see anything remarkable in her behavior towards him and might gossip about it in their letters to others.
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