Posted by Kali on June 25, 1997 at 11:41:08:
In reply to I now know what JA meant--an unlikeable heroine posted by Sylvia on June 25, 1997 at 02:15:10
The novel is supposed to be hyperbolic, and we're supposed to think that Emma's a little out of control. She tries us, but we love her anyway, as her intrinsic goodness saves her.
Emma IS a spoiled brat...but a generally nice one. She's so bored that any bee in her bonnet will occupy her for weeks. Harriet - and all that does or could potentially relate to her - become an obsession. I don't think Emma meant anything personal when she referred to marrying Robert Martin as a degradation (she admits he's a decent guy)...that's just the way women talk about the men in their or their friends' dating pools. In Emma's case, she was projecting her own needs, class, and views of marriage onto Harriet, in an attempt to live vicariously through her. But just because Emma and Robert have no interest in eachother, and nothing in common, it doesn't mean that Harriet and Robert aren't meant for eachother. In her selfishness, Emma neglects this fact. However, I maintain that she remains protected by female immunity, because the issue is sexual/romantic! :o)