Posted by Sylvia on June 26, 1997 at 14:36:37:
In reply to Re: Jane Austen and Emma always said what they liked to one another... posted by Kali on June 25, 1997 at 11:41:08
]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 inte0rest in eachother, and nothing in common...
I DO like Emma--although she does try me exceedingly at times. I thought it was just a little drastic to call marrying Robert Martin a degradation even though she might not have meant anything cruel by it. Especially since she based that pronouncement solely on his occupation and status in the community (not on personally knowing him). I agree that Emma was trying to live vicariously through Harriet because of her boredom. But since she knew that Robert Martin was interested in Harriet (and Harriet in Robert), and as Harriet's friend, why couldn't she take pains to better get to know him so she could make a more well-rounded judgment on his suitability for Harriet. And as she virtually "rules the roost" of Highbury, she could set a better example for her community (as does Mr. Knightley).