Posted by Sylvia on August 02, 1997 at 17:41:54:
In reply to Re: Knightley chauvinistic? Or just a man of his times? posted by Kathy F. on August 02, 1997 at 10:25:43
I took this passage as tongue in cheek. Remember that Emma had a great knack for bending Miss Taylor (and others as well) to her will when it should have been the other way around. Mr Knightley was having a bit of fun with Mrs Weston when he said she was preparing all her life to be a wife at Hartfield. It wasn't that Mrs Weston was submissive but that Emma just got her way all the time. So Knightley kidded her by saying that she had certainly got a lot of practice in doing as she was bid. Now on the point on whether Mr Knightley actually believed that wives should submit to their husbands, this was certainly the prevailing point of view in those times. But we know that Mr Knightley didn't like that kind of woman--he falls in love with her opposite number--Emma.