Posted by Sylvia on July 21, 1997 at 20:24:40:
In reply to Re: Effective family relationships in Emma posted by Kali on July 20, 1997 at 18:35:33
It's odd that Emma, in spite of her faults, is the only truly good daughter...
Don't forget Miss Bates. She is an exemplary daughter--devoting the middle of her life to caring for her old and failing mother and making their lives as comfortable as possible on a small income.
...and Mr. Knightley, though he has no kids, the best father figure. Unlike his brother, Mr. knightley is respectful of Emma - his surrogate daughter - and her family. And Emma, in valuing Mr. Knightley and the lessons which he teaches her, is respectful of her surrogate father. Kind of an icky baseline for comparison, I know...but I think that the George Knightleys will produce the healthiest - psychologically - family yet.
Kali, this is a very interesting point. I had not thought of it before, but I could see how Mr.Knightley became Emma's substitute father. Being very wise and observant, he obviously saw how Emma lacked parental guidance (her mother died, Mr. Woodhouse being how he is, and Mrs. Weston's indulging her every whim). So he stepped in and provided the necessary guidance.