Posted by Traci P on October 05, 1997 at 11:37:32:
In response to Hmmmm..., written by Robyn on October 05, 1997 at 04:46:21
] Hmmm...I agree with what you say to some extent, but I also agree with the writer of the article you quoted from, saying that Emma was more motivated to educate herself than Elizabeth.
I didn't look at it quite that way. Emma had the benefit of a governess and still resisted Miss Taylor's attempts to get her to better herself through reading, playing the pianoforte, painting etc.
]Emma knows very well that she could be a lot more accomplished in such things as playing the pianoforte and drawing, if only she would practice more (Perhaps she needs Lady Catherine on her back about it!!!) The way I see it, Emma seems to derive her motivation from what others think of her - particularly Mr Knightley.
Elizabeth also knew that she is at fault for not playing as well as she could because she never takes the time to practice. I just don't think Elizabeth personally valued that skill enough to practice, or maybe Mary hogged the pianoforte as she seems to do away from Longbourne....
]I remember that in one part of the novel, Emma is annoyed at herself for not having practiced more on the pianoforte, and so she sits down at it for 2 hours or something, just playing it. So she was motivated to play it by her own 'guilt', if you will!
Hee hee, she did sit down to play for 2 hours, but I noticed that her desire to improve her playing didn't last very long, for she didn't do it again. :)
] Lizzy, on the other hand, doesn't appear to me to be quite so motivated to become more educated & accomplished. We get the feeling that she dislikes playing and singing, and prefers to have her nose in a book, or be outside walking or whatever. She knows herself to be a somewhat 'underaccomplished' player - that is, she can play tolerably well enough to be bearable to listen to. But I don't recall ever reading anything in the novel about her taking time out to actually practice.
] Mmm...I have no idea if any of what I just said made any sense whatsoever!!! :)
It makes perfect sense, I just feel that whatever Lizzy did, she did through self-motivation (reading, walking etc) since she didn't have the benefit of a governess, and not for any ulterior motives. One can also think of Lizzy as experiencing a sort of Wordsworthian "learning by communing with nature" kinda thing on her walks. At least I'd like to see it so. Basically I think allowances should be made for their respective situations, and that if Miss Taylor had been the Bennet's governess, Lizzy would have been more accomplished than Emma is under the same circumstances.
Traci (sorry for this really long post)
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