Posted by Kathy F. on August 02, 1997 at 10:04:39:
In reply to Re: Emma/Mrs. E.--longish posted by Laraine on August 01, 1997 at 10:54:48
] I also think that Emma is actually a lot smarter than Mrs. Elton. It's not that Emma's not wrong a whole lot of the time. But quotes like this one shape my opinion of Emma a lot: "Emma was very compassionate; and the distresses
] of the poor were as sure of relief from her personal attention and kindness, her counsel and her patience, as from her purse. She understood their ways, could allow for their ignorance and their temptations, had no romantic expectations of extraordinary virtue from those for whom education had done so little; entered into their troubles with ready sympathy, and always gave her assistance
] with as much intelligence as good-will." I never hear things like that about Mrs. Elton.
But that is almost immediately followed by:
"These are the sights, Harriet, to do one good. How trifling they make everything else appear! I feel now as if I could think of nothing but these poor creatures all the rest of the day; and yet who can say how soon it may all vanish from my mind?"
Although Emma certainly feels for these poor sick people, the feeling isn't lasting, and she knows it, and she does not try to prolong that feeling. If she truly cared, she would have kept them longer in her mind.