Posted by Kathy F. on June 03, 1997 at 20:16:36:
What do y'all say to the possibility that in making Emma, JA was presenting a kinder version of Ms. Bingley? It has been discussed that she made a happy ending for Mansfield Park's Fanny and Henry with Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, and perhaps she did the same with Ms. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Few people will dispute the fact that Mr. Knightley and Darcy are "two peas in a pod," and there are some similarities between the two ladies that I find astonishing. They had the same fortune, and the same high opinion of self, wealth, and rank; and the same low opinion of non-gentlemen; neither is very likeable--Jane Austen said that herself about Emma (at least at first), and who likes Ms. Bingley--except her relatives?--and that is perhaps a hope, rather than an accepted fact. We are given little insight into Ms. Bingley's thoughts and character, but I'm beginning to think that if we had, we would see Emma. Their main differences are in situation--for instance, Emma lived at home with her father, and Ms. Bingley had many acquaintances; Emma was virtually an only child, Ms. Bingley was not. Other than those types of things, the only other differences that I can see are that Emma was an acknowledged wit, and that she was less accomplished than Ms. Bingley.
And with that, I must leave for a few days into that barren wilderness known as visiting relatives who have no access to the internet. :-(