Posted by Kali on July 31, 1997 at 21:33:15:
In reply to Re: Emma as Mrs. E. posted by Laraine on July 29, 1997 at 10:13:12
IMHO, Emma is too intelligent ever to fall into the traps Mrs. Elton falls into.
Is she? Remember the insult at Box Hill? Her entire career as a dating service? Her blind fascination with Frank Churchill and even with Mr. Elton?
While I DO think that deep-down she knows what's right, an unreformed Emma, as she grows older and less receptive, would slip deeply and irreparably into delusion - like Miss Bates, who talks to keep herself from getting depressed. Mrs. Elton, though not as innately good or intelligent as Emma, is more a victim of her own refusal to admit to imperfection than she is of pure foolishness. Jane Austen refers to her as "ignorant."
Emma is lucky that she has Mr. Knightley - I can't speak positively for Mrs. Elton, but I would guess that if SHE'd had a good role model like Mr. Knightley, she might have turned out to be a completely different sort of person. Mrs. E had the bad fortune of growing up with no one whom she could truly respect, and so the sensation is completely alien to her. To boot, she's always been praised to the skies by everyone around her, and so is blissfully ignorant of her limitations. And so would Emma be, if it weren't for the Knightleys.