Posted by Kathleen (Kaf) on July 20, 1997 at 19:28:41:
In reply to Re: Good parents in Emma posted by kathleen (elder) on July 20, 1997 at 11:45:29
] I have always assumed that John & Isabella Knightley were good parents, even though Isabella had a tendency to be over-protective. Certainly she wouldn't have wanted to give her children to anyone else to raise while she was still alive.
I agree, but John and Isabella were not central figures in the story. Of the four main young people in the novel, none of them had had a traditional family upbringing. Three were raised by someone other than their parents (two by people unrelated to them) and Emma had very little parental guidance.
This is not to say that Mr. Woodhouse was a bad person, but rather that he lacked parenting skills. To quote the book, "The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself."