Posted by Kathy F. on July 07, 1997 at 22:43:50:
In reply to Re: Emma as an old maid! posted by kathleen (elder) on July 06, 1997 at 08:08:40
] ] I think that in the moment that Emma tells Harriet that she could live very well as an old maid she is actually being truthful. I don't think that Emma and Mr. Knightley have a searing kind of love; if Frank Churchill didn't show up to put a burr under their collective saddle I think they would have gone on being neighbors, being fond of one another. They only take the steps necessary to move from loving to being in love when they are threatened. Emma is happy as she is and unless she is shown a way to be even happier, there's no reason for her to change.
] Do you think that Emma would continue being happy, though? At the beginning of the novel I see some seeds planted by JA which seem to indicate that the future might not bring contentment to Emma -- she has "lost" her best friend (Miss Taylor got married), her father is not equal to her mental quickness, she is used to having her own way, she thinks very highly of herself, she doesn't really enjoy the little parties that her father enjoys, etc. Supposing her father lived another 10 years or so; Emma would not have been able to travel and I think she would have gotten very tired of the small social group where she would have less and less influence.
But she has lived in that same society for the past 10 years, as mistress of Hartfield. I would be tired, I think after 10 days. :-D But she is bored after Miss Taylor marries, I think, which is why she befriends Harriet. Supposing that HS had married, without Emma and Mr. Knightley falling in love, what would Emma have done then? JF would probably have been married to FC by that time, so unless she found another little friend, she probably would have wanted to move on. Perhaps she would have been content with Isabella and some or all of the children, though.