Posted by Kathy F. on June 29, 1997 at 17:56:19:
In reply to Re: ...and the battle for Emma's soul... posted by Kali on June 29, 1997 at 15:29:37
] Mr. Knightley during the proposal scene dates his awakening to Frank Churchill's arrival. "One sentiment having enlightened him to the other."
] To give his subconscious more credit, however, note that from the beginning Mr. Knightley...Mr. Kind and Cheerful...has always been very hard on Frank - even before his arrival! This is one of my little ironic clues, as is Mr. Knightley's wishing Emma in love with some doubt of its return (the pivotal, uncharacteristic spite resufacing again!). Frank's actual arrival forces Mr. Knightley to admit his love to himself (pianoforte scene), the ball forces him to resolve the fact that he does want her in a very real and present way, and Box Hill (the climax of all the plotlines - Jane and Frank explode, Mrs. Elton fianlly loses it and actually hisses and spats at Emma, and Emma seems to be at a critical point re: breaking or not breaking through the adolescent curtain) brings the realization that he may lose her.
Okay, so it is a little like Emma's realization--neither had to think very long about where he/she stood in the other's estimation until that place was challenged. But I still think that Mr. Knightley thought of it more in a "protect little sis from intruder" way--not keep my love from falling in love with someone else. At/after Box Hill it changed because he saw how much they were flirting openly. Before, it was just a possibility that they might like each other and was therefore acceptable, in a "grin and bear it" kind of way.