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|Emma’s grilling of Jane Fairfax
Written by Robbin
(4/17/2008 8:12 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Not just the Dixons, general reserve, penned by Tracy W
If any thing could be more, where all was most, she was more reserved on the subject of Weymouth and the Dixons than any thing. She seemed bent on giving no real insight into Mr. Dixon's character, or her own value for his company, or opinion of the suitableness of the match. (Chapter 20)
So far it seems Jane is reserved by nature and this is something Emma has known and disliked for a long time. Jane did talk; she just did not live up to Emma’s expectation. She did not give Emma the personal information she desired on which to build her fantasies about Jane and Mr. Dixon. It seems to me Emma’s questions about Mr. Dixon are intrusive. What kind of question is how do you value the company of your friend’s husband and do you think the match is suitable? What can Jane say to such questions but what is polite? I think it is unlikely she would spread gossip about her benefactor’s daughter even if any of Emma’s fancies about them was true. This all happened at Hartfield and Emma was the hostess; perhaps she should have backed off when her guest did not want to satisfy her curiosity. I don’t see why Jane has to be a witty conversationalist. When Jane praised and gave thanks for Emma’s performance on the pianoforte Emma sees it as “an affectation of candor” to make herself look good and show off her own talent so actually speaking does not do Jane much good with Emma. Jane did play and sing and in that respect took on her fair share of the entertainment. Emma expected Jane to act differently, she didn’t, and Emma was disappointed.
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