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|Your assertion was Mr. Knightley is a snob
Written by Robbin
(5/5/2008 12:48 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Not At All, penned by Antoinette
But Harriet Smith -- I have not half done about Harriet Smith. I think her the very worst sort of companion that Emma could possibly have. She knows nothing herself, and looks upon Emma as knowing every thing. She is a flatterer in all her ways; and so much the worse, because undesigned. Her ignorance is hourly flattery. How can Emma imagine she has any thing to learn herself, while Harriet is presenting such a delightful inferiority? And as for Harriet, I will venture to say that she cannot gain by the acquaintance. Hartfield will only put her out of conceit with all the other places she belongs to. She will grow just refined enough to be uncomfortable with those among whom birth and circumstances have placed her home. I am much mistaken if Emma's doctrines give any strength of mind, or tend at all to make a girl adapt herself rationally to the varieties of her situation in life. They only give a little polish." (Chapter 5)
Your example does not prove the point I thought you were trying to make. Mr. Knightley admits Harriet is a pleasanter companion than he had given her credit for and thinks she is preferable to Mrs. Elton (who isn’t) but he does not take back the things he said in Chapter 5. In her value as a conversable companion I suppose he should not have prejudged her but the sad truth is Harriet is lacking in intelligence, education and judgment and IMO Mr. Knightley was not a social snob for thinking this made her the worst kind of companion for Emma—certainly Emma’s arrogance and Harriet’s slavish devotion has caused a great deal of pain and problems for both of them. As far as I can tell the same problems still exist in Emma and Harriet’s relationship. I don’t think allowing Harriet to be easier to talk with than he previously believed proves he ever was a social snob but perhaps that is not your point anymore. I am not sure. (;D)
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