Posted by Laraine on August 01, 1997 at 11:41:26:
In reply to Mr Knightley doth protest too much! posted by Sylvia on August 01, 1997 at 10:39:54
] We've talked much before about how Mr Knightley traces his awareness of his love for Emma in his jealousy of Frank Churchill. So I read the debate between Mr Knightley and Emma about Frank's character after Frank defers yet another visit to Highbury with fresh ears. The gentleman does protest too much!
Doesn't he just? He's not fair to Frank because he will cut him absolutely NO slack. And Emma is right that Mr. Knightley doesn't understand what it's like to be anything other than the master of his time and place.
] I must take Emma's side in her defence of Frank. At one point, Emma says that Frank can "adapt his conversation to the taste of everybody" (farming to Mr Knightley, music or drawing to Emma. This is an admirable trait in one so young, yet Mr Knightley interprets this behavior as the worst kind of flattery (hasn't Mr K ever had to work a room? ;-)
While I generally think Mr. Knightley is very hard on Frank, I agree with him here. (But then I haven't had to work a room :-} ). I wouldn't like the sort of person Emma imagines Frank to be--too insincere and too cloying. Creepy.
] And what took Emma so long to discover her true feelings toward Mr Knightley? ... But we can never accuse Emma of perception!
If she'd figured it out at this point, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun, either. I think their feelings for each other are hinding in plain sight...
This argument is just about my favorite scene in the novel--thanks for bringing it up :-).