Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|A "whole novel" theme
Written by Laraine
(3/18/2011 8:42 p.m.)
Jane Austen's Emma bears some resemblance to a hall of mirrors, or at least to Sir Walter Elliot's dressing room. Themes, motif, characters, events, personality traits--almost all have reflections, shadow-selves, mirror images. In many chases these reflections enhance the richness of ideas, give nuance and new shades of meaning. Mr. Knightley and Robert Martin show off each other's strength of character; Emma and Mrs. Elton vie for the prize of being the proudest and most vain woman in her set. Frank's flattering attention to Emma is reflected in Harriet's adoration of Mr. Knightley after the ball, and Emma's relationship with Harriet is echoed in Mrs. Elton's attentions to Jane Fairfax. Both Emma and Jane Fairfax have difficult, nervous parental figures. Reflections abound, and they abound no where as much as in how nearly everyone is quite happy to engage in their own bit of matchmaking.The remaining pages are a discussion of a lot of critical mentions of matchmatching and how it was "a role that Austen is not all all ready to privilege, especially not in this novel."
So--here's the question--whom do you see as matchmakers in the novel (in addition to Emma), and do you think Austen approved of matchmaking?
Since this is the last few days of our reading, it's OK to make some more extended references to other Austen books (but we are discussing Emma in the main, please remember).
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.