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|Emma: vindicated about Jane Fairfax to a degree?
Written by Ramya
(3/15/2011 4:33 p.m.)
We have had some good long discussions about Emma and Jane Fairfax's friendship and who was to blame for its failure. In chapter 52, I see that there is some vindication of Emma. Emma was wrong in imagining a sleazy fantasy about JF and Mr. Dixon. However, she was not wrong in being offended by JF's cold and reserved behavior towards herself. Jane uses the word "disgust" several times in talking about herself, which proves how much she has suffered mentally from guilt. Here's the quote in full: "You are very kind, but I know what my manners were to you. So cold and artificial! I had always a part to act. It was a life of deceit! I know that I must have disgusted you."
When I compare this with Emma's reaction to Jane in Chap.20, it matches. . She was, besides, which was the worst of all, so cold, so cautious! There was no getting at her real opinion. Wrapt up in a cloak of politeness, she seemed determined to hazard nothing. She was disgustingly, was suspiciously reserved.
Again, we have some confirmation in Mr. Knightley's description of Jane in Chap. 33: She has not the open temper which a man would wish for in a wife.... [JF] wants openness. She is reserved, more reserved, I think, than she used to be.
It appears that Jane could not be selectively reserved about her secret engagement with Frank Churchill, but the feeling of intrigue and guilt permeated her thought processes so much that she was almost dominated by it. Poor thing! She certainly suffered a lot!
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