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|Who said Emma did nothing at all?
Written by Robbin
(4/13/2008 9:05 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Emma isn´t that bad..., penned by MarianneR
Quarrel with the use of the word “huge” if you must, (;D) but I do not see how it cannot be labeled a significant difference if the genteel poor Bates cannot count on Emma’s relief (Chapter 19) while the poor can always count on relief (Chapter 10) both from her counsel and purse. Describe this gap as you like but in my mind there is no question it exists. Per Chapter 19, Emma knows in her heart she does not do what she ought for the Bates—so by her own admission she does not always do what she knows she should for them.
Are you suggesting Emma has changed her negligent ways in Chapter 21 by sending the Bates a whole hind-quarter of pork? It is a very nice gesture and vastly generous to boot but I want to see a continuing effort on Emma’s part to do as she ought for them before deciding she has changed her neglectful ways. How do we know this act of kindness will not be followed by a long dry spell where she does nothing for them? Not regaling the Bates with her belief it is a disagreeable duty and a waste of her time to visit them is a sort of kindness but IMO the “white lies” of civilized behavior is hardly praise worthy it is so common.
IMO the fact the Bates are intimates of Emma’s father, older than she is and respectable gentlewomen in hard circumstances should make them a priority for her attentions at least but because she finds them disagreeable she neglects both visiting them and enhancing their scanty comforts—out of sight, out of mind. Emma’s compassion and kindness does not rest on the fact she likes the poor, as so many have said they can expect Emma’s charity regardless of what they do or how they are because she does not expect anything extraordinary from them. Why does the reverse seem to be true for the Bates? (;D)
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