Posted by Lesley on July 07, 1997 at 02:10:26:
In reply to Re: Emma-Has this been discussed before? posted by Kathy F. on July 06, 1997 at 23:08:25
] ] ] where Emma errs once, she is in the right a hundred times..."
] I don't necessarily agree with this assessment. But then, we are told more of her faults than of her good deeds; and her faults are of much more weight than her goodness--at least at first. Is not messing up Harriet's "best chance of happiness" a weightier matter than giving alms to the poor?
] ] ] Sure, she has her moments, but she's no cockey, haughty witch. In fact, very few people - notably Mr. K and John - understand the potential evil in what others see as charming and harmless.
] I don't think that John saw anything in Emma-for one thing, he was too far away most of the time.
] ] I have been wanting to talk about this but I was unsure if this point had already been discussed ad nauseum . Emma's meddling with Harriet was seen as charming and harmless by most people but Mr. Knightley is really alarmed about it. I don't think Emma realizes how badly she could mess up Harriet's life. What would have happened to H. if Robert Martine hadn't proposed agian, etc.
] I haven't discussed this point before, I believe, so I will gladly talk your ear off. ;-)
I think Emma starts matchmaking for Harriet as a lark, as something ot fill her time. It is as if she is using Harriet as sexual bait to lure Mr. Elton. After carefully reading the book, I think Emma is mainly sorry for befriending Harriet because she is afraid Harriet will marry Mr. Knightley! I think it is very easy to miss this bc JA ties up Harriet's fate very nicely by having Mr. Knightley encourage robert Martin to propose again in London, away from Emma's influence.
I don't think that Emma does this maliciously to try to ruin Harriet's life but I certainly think that it was a near miss for Harriet and Mr. Martin!