Posted by Kali on August 02, 1997 at 04:48:43:
In reply to Re: Emma/Mrs. E.--longish posted by Laraine on August 01, 1997 at 10:54:48
But I also think that if Emma matured past her fanciful stage without Mr. Knightley she wouldn't harden into a mean-spirited person.
Agreed, but she WOULD become more selfish and ignorant in her delusion, and the general result would be the same. Where we consider Mrs. Elton to be purely mean-spirited, we say that Emma is merely thougthless. Unfortunately, the effects are the same. And without Mr. Knightley, as we glimpse, even Emma's good intentions can't avert disasters (or near-disasters, in her very lucky case). Nor will they win her back the love and respect of her acquaintances once she's finally gone too far.