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|Some theories :-)
Written by Erica M.
(3/13/2011 7:12 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, CH:54 Two things., penned by Reeba
As for telling Mr. Knightley about Harriet's brief "crush" on him, I think there are several reasons Emma would do this. I think Emma wishes to be as open with Mr. Knightley as possible. One of the themes of the book seems to be secrecy vs. openness, especially openness in relationships. This might be touching on that same theme.
"My Emma, does not every thing serve to prove more and more the beauty of truth and sincerity in all our dealings with each other?" Emma agreed to it, and with a blush of sensibility on Harriet's account, which she could not give any sincere explanation of. (Ch. 51)
Emma grieved that she could not be more openly just to one important service which his better sense would have rendered her... (Ch. 53)
Also, Harriet is now an engaged woman. Mr. Knightley would not have to worry about trying to continue to be a kind-hearted gentleman without raising any more hopes in Harriet. And now, because Harriet has clearly made her choice, it will not reflect so badly on her. It is in the past now.
I also always suspect (though this is pure speculation) that Emma wanted to explain her about-face in the "proposal" conversation in the shrubbery. Mr. Knightley was apparently a bit confused by her shutting down the conversation, then striking it right back up.
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