Posted by Kali on July 07, 1997 at 20:43:19:
In reply to Emma/Harriet posted by Julia on July 07, 1997 at 20:20:03
Does anyone think that at the end of "Emma" (the novel) either Emma or Harriet regret their friendship, or wish to end it??
It is written that the two girls naturally drift apart upon emma's engagement to Mr. Knightley. Harriet is given another chance from mr. Martin, and takes it - probably having learnt her lesson regarding her own ego - and Emma, now understanding her own heart, regrets having muscled 'round Harriet into the presumptuous "monster" she'd become.
This has been discussed both here and on Austen-L...I myself believe that the mature and "reformed" Emma has finally learned her lesson regarding fantastic speculation, and has realized that Harriet is nothing special. Harriet is NOT a gentleman's daughter - she's the illegitimate daughter of a commercial tradesperson, and soon-to-be the wife of a tenant farmer. She and Harriet grow apart not simply because their friendship is a reminder of callower days, but because they both come to understand their differences in terms of class and intellect. In short, they have noting in common, and no real business maintaining intimacy.