Author Topic: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online  (Read 31462 times)

marcie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #80 on: March 03, 2015, 09:17:53 PM »
The Book Club Online is  the oldest  book club on the Internet, begun in 1996, open to everyone.  We offer cordial discussions of one book a month,  24/7 and  enjoy the company of readers from all over the world.  Everyone is welcome.

March/April Book Club Online

Emma
by Jane Austen


"I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”  Jane Austen of Emma.


Will you like her, the heroine who Austen claimed was most like herself, and who inspired a movie called "Clueless"? If not, there's lots more to like in this classic novel of love, misdirection, and social class.


Schedule
March 1-5       Chapters 1-7
   March 6 -        Chapters 8-17

QUESTIONS CHAPTERS 8 TO 17


1. Mr. Martin is an important character who we never hear speak. We know what he's like only through the opinions of others. Is this technique effective? Why does Austen use it? Do you remember other such Austen characters?

2. Were you able to solve the "riddles"? Was the "charade" an effective courtship device?

3. In Chapter X, Emma gives a spirited defense of "old maids." Would such a defense be needed today?

4. In this section, Austen gives us many examples of ordinary conversation between minor characters. What purposes do these conversations serve? Which was the funniest? What role do Emma and Mr. Knightley play in those conversations?

5. Do any of the minor characters introduced remind you of someone you know? Which? Is Austen's portrayal of ordinary foibles accurate.

6. When did you first realize that things were not going as Emma had planned? Looking back, how does Austen misdirect us? How does she set up the final scene?

7. Does seeing Emma in adversity change your opinion of her? What strengths of character does it reveal?




marcie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #81 on: March 03, 2015, 09:21:15 PM »
Ella, that's a good insight. Emma doesn't have as much interest in married women as single... likely since she has no hope of making a "match" for them or otherwise directing their lives. She seems to want to give her time to people who are potential "projects," in part for their own sake and in part for the gratification of bestowing on them her superior resources (intelligence; society, wealth).

pedln

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #82 on: March 03, 2015, 10:14:17 PM »
JoanK, more chapters is fine. I have already read a bit ahead.  The reading is easy.  I'm just amazed that a woman so young can expect others to bend to her will.  I'm looking forward to see if and when she gets her come uppance, as surely she will. 

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #83 on: March 04, 2015, 01:09:16 AM »
I think we need something new to think about. Lets move on Friday (March 6) instead of Sunday. Lets read Chapters 8-17. That's 75 pages in my book, but some of them are mainly pictures.

If you don't have time to finish the reading by Friday, just jump in where you are. There's plenty to talk about.

marcie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #84 on: March 04, 2015, 11:02:57 AM »
That sounds fine to me, Joan.

Pedln, Mr. Knightley seems to be the only person in her life right now who sees problems with the role Emma sees for herself as matchmaker and the way she is  interacting with Harriet. He's critical of Emma and let's her know it. We also learn in his exchange with Miss Taylor (in Chapter 5) that he thinks that Emma is beautiful and not vain about her looks and is clever, quick and assured. He is worried about Emma's lack of perseverance and lack of concentration on "understanding" rather than "fancy" (by which I think is meant imagination). He says, for example, "The list [of books to read] she drew up when only fourteen -- I remember thinking it did her judgment so much credit, that I preserved it some time; and I dare say she may have made out a very good list now. But I have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma. She will never submit to any thing requiring industry and patience, and a subjection of the fancy to the understanding. Where Miss Taylor failed to stimulate, I may safely affirm that Harriet Smith will do nothing. You never could persuade her to read half so much as you wished. You know you could not."

Jonathan

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #85 on: March 04, 2015, 12:33:06 PM »
Marcie, your post makes me realize how helpful Mr. Knightley is in getting to understand Emma. At twice her age he has watched her grow up, with pleasure it seems. Does he have a fatherly interest in her?

How does her father, Mr. Woodhouse, see her? 'Emma never thinks of herself, if she can do good to others.' And the daughter  thinks or sees that  her father sometimes 'understands but in part'! (haha, I'm wondering myself if I'm getting it all)

Wow! is she clever. Is it any wonder that the author likes her? We seem to agree that Emma is manipulative. But we don't ask ourselves what it is that Emma wants and needs. Bellamarie's quote describing the marriage proposal for Harriet doesn't make Emma out as being so manipulative as a master in the gentle art of persuasion. Brilliant.

About Mr. Knightley, Halcyon asks: 'Why has no one grabbed him up?'

Perhaps he's waiting, subconsciously of course, for Emma's help. Or waiting for her to grow up.

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #86 on: March 04, 2015, 03:22:29 PM »
MARCIE: reading was obviously important to Austen, and we always hear about the reading habits of all her heroines. I love Mr. Knightly's description of Emma's: making reading lists since she was 12. "and very good lists the were too- very well chosen and very neatly arranged-sometimes alphabetically and sometimes by another rule."

I can't help thinking that Austen is talking about herself here. What do you think? The reading lists were doubtless of "improving books" (books of sermons were highly thought of), not the romances that Austen loved.

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #87 on: March 04, 2015, 03:38:05 PM »
" She will never submit to any thing requiring industry and patience, and a subjection of the fancy to the understanding."

Does this seem a fair description of Emma? It's not of Austen who certainly had industry and patience, but did she refuse to submit fancy (imagination) to understanding (intelligence)?

JONATHAN: "But we don't ask ourselves what it is that Emma wants and needs."

Good point. Unlike the usual heroine, she doesn't seem to be looking for a suitor. What do you all think she wants and needs?

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #88 on: March 04, 2015, 05:21:53 PM »
I think she is desperate for appreciation - and probably love if her mother died when she was a child -

Like all of us who loose a parent or caregiver early in our life we have a hole that makes us needy and Emma is going to try to fill that hole by controlling the world around her - probably attempting to control what she could not control when her mother died - and her reading probably offers her a place of control - nothing is going to jump off the pages and bite her plus she can control which books to read, when to stop and when during the day or night to read. Her organized list show us that she likes organization - and that is often an earmark of someone who needs to control the circumstances around her.

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #89 on: March 04, 2015, 05:25:29 PM »
Good point, BARB. Do others agree?

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #90 on: March 04, 2015, 05:53:22 PM »
I haven't read further yet but it gets more intriguing I'm sure.

What does Emma want or need? 

Barbara said appreciation and love,  -  she did have those qualities from Miss Taylor didn't she?   Perhaps she is looking for someone similar, but is Harriet a standin for the former governess.  I doubt that. 

I must read on.  I have a strong suspicion that eventually Mr. Knightley will figure in her life and perhaps he is the one that will give her, as Pedlin stated the "come uppance" she needs   

Halcyon

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #91 on: March 04, 2015, 05:54:31 PM »
I've been thinking about Emma being manipulative or, as Jonathan says, a master at the gentle art of persuasion and I wonder what her motive is? 

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #92 on: March 04, 2015, 07:24:12 PM »
HALCYON: what is Emma's motive? Good question. Is it purely Harriet's welfare? What's in it for Emma? What do you all think?

I'm beginning to see Emma in a different way than I had in earlier readings. Emma is clever, but not studious. She gets bored easily. She is really constrained by her role as a woman. The traditional "lady of leisure" occupations don't hold her interest. She's a people person, but she's constrained by her father's limitations to a very narrow circle of people: people that she's known forever and aren't very interesting. As a woman, she has limited means to widen that circle. She has to wait and hope interesting people show up. (Or try to somehow mold and imagine Harriet into the person she wants for her friend).

Does that sound like it might be what Austen sees of herself in Emma?

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #93 on: March 04, 2015, 07:53:38 PM »
Could be that JA's reduced economic circumstances was the same influence that did not enable her to widen her circle of acquaintances and those feelings of being boxed in was translated to Emma, but rather than reduced financial circumstances there is instead, the father who - just hit me he also controls his world with his cry of illness and weakness boxing his life into a small slice of life and geography - hmm he controls Emma keeping her close to his beck and call, as Emma then tries to control her world and acquaintances as you say, trying to make them over into Emma's idea of a friend, a successful woman etc.  

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #94 on: March 05, 2015, 02:17:55 PM »
Don't forget, we're starting the new section tomorrow: Chapter 8-17.If you haven't quite finished it, jump in anyway.

I might be a little late with my discussion questions. My mind is a blank.

bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2015, 04:22:04 PM »
I am anxious to read the next chapters, but before I do I went back and was re-reading the first ones.  Something jumped out at me that I didn't quite see the first time reading.

Mr. Knightly as we know is 37 yrs. old, and Emma is 21 yrs. old.  Even though he has been a long time family friend, and visits often, he takes liberty to constantly question and criticize Emma.  Seems he is the only one who wants to challenge her to what he sees as flaws.  Although, I did notice when he does this, he does it in a bit of a flirty, comical way with her, and she can't resist engaging with him.

Pg. 367   (Mr. Knightly has come to ask how the wedding went, and see how Emma and Mr. Woodhouse is fairing without Miss Taylor.)

"By the bye, I have not wished you joy.  Being pretty well aware of what sort of joy you must both be feeling, I have been in no hurry with my congratulations; but I hope it all went off tolerably well.  How did you all behave?  Who cried most?"
"Ah!  poor Miss Taylor! 'tis a sad business."
"Poor Mr. and Miss Woodhouse, if you please; but I cannot possibly say 'poor Miss Taylor.'  I have a great regard for you and Emma; but when it comes to the question of dependence or independence! at any rate, it must be better to have only one to please than two."
"Especially when one of those two is such a fanciful, troublesome creature!" said Emma playfully.  "That is what you have in your head, I know_and what you would certainly say if my father were not by."
"I believe it is very true, my dear, indeed,"  said Mr. Woodhouse, with a sigh.  "I am afraid I am sometimes very fanciful and troublesome."
"My dearest papa!  You do not think I could mean you, or suppose Mr. Knightly to mean you.  What a horrible idea!  Oh, no!  I meant only myself.  Mr. Knightly love to find fault with me, you know-in a joke.  We always say what we like to one another."
Mr. Knightly, in fact, was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them; and though this was not particularly agreeable to Emma herself, she knew it would be so much less so to her father, that she would not have him really suspect such a circumstance as her not being thought perfect by everybody.
"Emma knows I never flatter her," said Mr. Knightly, "but I meant no reflection on anybody.  Miss Taylor has been used to have two person to please; she will now have but one.  The chances are that she must be a gainer."
"Well," said Emma willing to let it pass, "you want to hear about the wedding; and I shall be happy to tell you, for we all behaved charmingly.  Everybody was punctual, everybody in their best looks: not a tear, and hardly a long face to be seen.  Oh, no; we all felt that we were going to be only half a mile apart, and were sure of meeting every day."
"Dear Emma bears everything so well," said her father.  "But Mr. Knightly, she is really very sorry to lose poor Miss Taylor, and I am sure she will miss her more than she thinks for."
Emma turned away her head, divided between tears and smiles.


The tears for papa's sake, and the smiles, I am sure because her father has put Mr. Knightly in his place.   :D

Then they go on about how Emma wants to take credit for making the match in the first place, and Mr. Knightly is letting her know he thinks she is taking way too much credit for it.  Again, he is putting her in her place, not allowing her to think too highly of herself.  I was finding myself laughing at their banter back and forth.  He sure does know how to get her goat. 

Even though the age difference, it will surprise me if the two of them do not end up together.  This for me, is the perfect storm!  Who else would be able to handle her?    :o   ::)   ;)
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
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Jonathan

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2015, 05:23:32 PM »
The Perfect Storm! Well done, Bellamarie. That's really calling it. And the end of your quote from the book provides a great revelation. There are both tears and smiles in Emma's makeup.

And I was just puzzling over Joan's question: Does Austen see herself in Emma? Perhaps so, and isn't she surprised by what she finds. I seem to sense a conflict in the narrative, almost like a struggle between author and character. This is going to be a great matchup.

I believe Harriet is another clever one. Not as simple as Emma believes her to be. She has certainly turned Emma's head with her seeming innocence.

Pass the gruel please. Isn't it fun having dinner with Mr. Woodhouse.

bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #97 on: March 05, 2015, 05:49:01 PM »
OMG!  Where is the "like" button and the lololol?   Jonathan, I see the struggle between the author and character as well.  Austen, loves her heroine spunky, and always the man challenging, hence Emma and Mr. Knightley.  Emma is likeable and unlikeable at the same time.  She is our little chameleon, I say this with endearment.  giggle, giggle

No, sweet little Harriet, I expect will not allow her feelings for Mr. Martin to be dismissed so easily.

Speaking of dinners with Mr. Woodhouse, I have to mention this as I was re-reading.

pg. 372  "Mr. Woodhouse was fond of society in his own way.  He liked very much to have his friends come and see him; and from various united causes, from his long residence at Hartfield, and his good-nature, from his fortune, his house, and his daughter, he could command the visits of his own little circle, in a great measure as he liked.  He had not much intercourse with any families beyond that circle; his horror of late hours, and large dinner-parties, made him unfit for any acquaintance but such as would visit him on his own terms.  Fortunately for him, Highbury, including Randalls in the same parish, and Donwell Abbey in the parish adjoining, the seat of Mr. Knightley, comprehended many such.  Not unfrequently, through Emma's persuasion, he had some of the chosen and the best to dine with him;"

Well, now who do you think Emma gets her personality from?  As Mr. Knightley would describe her, such is her father, a bit high and mighty! 
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #98 on: March 05, 2015, 06:09:11 PM »
A struggle between author and character, I love it! You're right, I'm sure.

pedln

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #99 on: March 05, 2015, 06:37:35 PM »
Quote
I believe Harriet is another clever one. Not as simple as Emma believes her to be. She has certainly turned Emma's head with her seeming innocence.

We'll have to watch for that, Jonathan.  Right now, to me, it seems she is mostly being pleasant and agreeing with what Emma says.

bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #100 on: March 06, 2015, 12:39:20 AM »
Those who have seen Gone With the Wind, I ask you, does Emma and Mr. Knightley remind you a little of Scarlett and Rhett?  He too was much older than her.  Love has no age barrier.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Halcyon

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2015, 03:37:08 PM »
The perfect storm.  Perfect!    It reminds me of A Midsummer Night's Dream, all those confused lovers.

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #102 on: March 06, 2015, 05:04:05 PM »
Glad you like it, HALCYON. how about the rest of you? (The questions are up, if anyone's interested).

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #103 on: March 06, 2015, 06:27:36 PM »
An interesting thought, BELLE, about Scharlett and Rhett.  Many years have passed since I saw the movie, never did read the book, but there are similarities.  I think Scarlett, however, was very different in ways that Emma is not; she was very tempestuous, quick to anger, passionately lin love with the wrong man. Emma declares she will never be married, she has never been in love, it is not her way or her nature and she doesn't anticipate it will change.

Pray Emma never loses her good fortune in life for "a very narrow income has a tendency to contract the mind and sour the temper.   Those who can barely live, and live perforce in a very small, and generally very inferior society may well be illiberal and cross"

I forget and have to click around and read Jane Austen's bio again to understand her stature in life..  I remember she never married and was very close to her father.  Oh, the poor memory....

It's a good book; however to be a bit critical, isn't it all such an old story?

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #104 on: March 06, 2015, 06:47:39 PM »
I just noticed your questions, JOAN. 

Of course, the book revolves around the techniques applied by the author and Mr. Martin is an excellent example.  I think we know him very well;  I should say, we know OF HIM from the opinions of the others.  I like him and if I could give him advice I would tell him to stay away from this bunch, hahaha  They are not of your class, you will never understand their ways, their gossip, their lack of character (at this point of the story), go enjoy the good llife -  nature with all its wonders.

Was it MARCIE who earlier said these people are very bored and all they have to do is gossip about each other?  Was this true of Austen?   Or is this our Americanism showing, our lack of class, our value of hard work.  Every time I go to a library in a small city, or large, I see a Carnegie Library - do you know how that came to be?  Do we read of these heroes, do our children? 

Sorry about that, it comes off my fingers, I am not responsible!

On the edge of my mind the name of an author is lingering who wrote of America's early achievers but in a fictional style.  Can we say that Austen writes of the people she knew, the era she lived in?  Is any of this historical in any way, other than carriages shey rode in, etc.

I am not an Austen reader; therefore writing out of ignorance, I must say.


BarbStAubrey

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #105 on: March 06, 2015, 10:44:26 PM »
I can hear you Ella it all appears to be no more than a tempest in a tea pot does it especially in comparison to the social issues of today but then that may be the appeal - simple dichotomies that are like reading period fantasy like walking in a garden we know the world won't come crashing down.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #106 on: March 07, 2015, 03:50:17 AM »
This was included in an email to me today and I thought of Jane Austen but also her Emma whose circumstances may not have been the limitation of money as Jane Austen but a limitation of opportunity also Emma lived in a small community limiting her access to the outside world.

"The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts." - Marianne Williamson

PatH

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #107 on: March 07, 2015, 09:39:38 AM »
This was included in an email to me today and I thought of Jane Austen but also her Emma whose circumstances may not have been the limitation of money as Jane Austen but a limitation of opportunity also Emma lived in a small community limiting her access to the outside world.

"The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts." - Marianne Williamson
That's an important point, Barb.  Emma's world is mostly limited by the distance she can walk.  Her social opportunities would be much greater if she could spend time in London, as many people of her class did.  The Woodhouses could easily afford this, and they have a coach and horses to make the trip easy, plus they could stay with Isabella and John, but Emma's father, who is fussed by a drive of a mile or so, is unwilling to attempt this, and Emma would be unwilling to abandon him to go alone.

Mr. Knightly is somewhat constrained too.  He is perfectly willing and able to go elsewhere on business, but he is too busy with local affairs to stay away any length of time, so his choice of wife is limited to the local gentlefolk.  This may be one reason he hasn't yet married.

bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #108 on: March 07, 2015, 10:02:03 AM »
                            

I have just finished reading chapter 8 and WOW!  The fireworks were certainly flying through Emma and Mr. Knightley.  I found myself laughing, cheering, and getting a bit upset with Mr. Knightley's assessment of Harriet, and women in general.  Good for Emma for standing up to him and showing him a woman is more than just a pretty face, to be draped on the arm of a man.

pg. 393 " You are a very good friend to Mr. Martin; but, as I said before, are unjust to Harriet.  Harriet's claims to marry well are not so contemptible as you represent them.  She is not a clever girl, but she has better sense than you are aware of, and does not deserve to have her understanding spoken of so slightingly.  Waiving that point, however, and supposing her to be, as you describe her, only pretty and good-natured, let me tell you, that in the degree she possesses them, they are not trivial recommendations to the world in general, for she is, in fact, a beautiful girl, and must be thought so by ninety-nine people out of a hundred; and till it appears that men are much more philosophic on the subject of beauty than they are generally supposed, till they do fall in love with well-informed minds instead of handsome faces, a girl, with such loveliness as Harriet, has a certainty of being admired and sought after, of having the power of choosing from among many, consequently a claim to be nice.  Her good nature, too, is not so very slight a claim, comprehending, as it does, real, thorough sweetness of temper, and manner, a very humble opinion of herself, and a great readiness to be pleased with other people.  I am very much mistaken if your sex in general would not think such beauty, and such temper, the highest claims a woman could possess."

"Upon my word, Emma, to hear you abusing the reason you have, is almost enough to make me think so too.  Better be without sense than misapply it as you do."

"To be sure," cried she, playfully.  "I know that is the feeling of you all.  I know that such a girl as Harriet is exactly what every man delights in-what at once bewitches his senses and satisfies his judgement.  Oh Harriet may pick and choose.  Were you, yourself, ever to marry, she is the very woman for you.  And is she, at seventeen, just entering into life, just beginning to be known, to be wondered at because she does not accept the first offer she receives?  No__pray let her have time to look about her."

I feel like I am seeing Emma through different eyes than everyone else.  I don't believe for one minute she sincerely felt she wanted to keep Harriet all to herself when she and Mr. Knightley were arguing about what, and who, is best for Harriet.

"I am very much obliged to you," said Emma, laughing again.  "If I had set my heart on Mr. Elton's marrying Harriet, it would have been very kind to open my eyes; but at present I only want to keep Harriet to myself.  I have done with matchmaking, indeed.  I could never hope to equal my own doings at Randalls.  I shall leave off while I am well,"

These two have two very different ideas of love, marriage and what is best for Harriet, or for women and men in general.  Yet, while arguing with each other I felt they were making stands on what they individually are demanding for themselves.  

"We think so differently on this point, Mr. Knightley, that there can be no use in canvassing it.  We shall only be making each other more angry."

For me, I think William Shakespeare's quote from the 1602 play Hamlet fits here, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks"
Although I think the lady, Emma, and the gentleman, Mr. Knightley, protest too much!

As an Austen lover, I have to tell you, this is a love story as all hers are.  She gives us many characters to keep us busy, yet in the end it is about the two main characters who are fighting love, and finding their way to love, in the end.  I have not read ahead, I do not claim to know the ending.  I tend to see Austen of her era, as our Danielle Steele of today.  The weekly series of Downton Abbey is a great replica of Austen's novels.  They were meant to entertain, amuse and enjoy!  IMO  I am a hopeless romantic, so I am sitting back and relishing the spitfire in Emma.  She is a woman of depth, she knows her mind, (even if she does not yet know her heart,) and even though a woman in her time did not express her intellect much, she is not going to allow Mr. Knightley to ignore the fact women are more than a mere object to admire and look at.

Emma has shown Harriet, you can choose, you can want more, you can refuse, and not think the first man who proposes to you, you must accept.  Seventeen is young, Harriet is just becoming into her womanhood.  Even "if" Harriet and Mr. Martin do end up together, or she ends up with Mr. Elton, which Mr. Knightley professes is the wrong man for her, at least Emma is teaching her that her worth is much more than mere beauty, which can fade.  Jane Austen was a woman ahead of the times, in writing the feelings Emma is expressing in her argument with Mr. Knightley.  I would want to give my daughter the same advice.  Don't be haste, take your time, and know you are worth more than just a pretty face.  

(Although....shhhhhh....in the back of my head, I fear Emma may see a Harriet she does not like, rise up.)  I'm sensing some hurt in the future.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #109 on: March 07, 2015, 04:25:16 PM »
BELLAMARIE:I love your fireworks!

" till it appears that men are much more philosophic on the subject of beauty than they are generally supposed, till they do fall in love with well-informed minds instead of handsome faces, ..."

Indeed!

BARB: yes, Austen is the author of the small personal triumphs and tragedies. The world around her enters only as opportunities for the men who go out and come back from it. Her brothers were in the navy: and in another book (Persuasion) the navy is prominent but only as a way to make a fortune. (She lived during what we call he war of 1812, and the fortune was made in part by hijacking American ships, but there is no clue of that in Austen).

She is very historic in that she gives us an incredibly detailed picture of what life was actually like for a woman of her "station" at that time. It's narrow because those lives WERE narrow.

I admit when I first read Austen as a young girl, she gave me claustrophobia with that narrow focus. But the older I get, the more I appreciate her -- after all, the everyday she writes of is what most of our lives consist of. And what riches she finds in her small plot of land!

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #110 on: March 07, 2015, 04:35:24 PM »
I'm not sure what to make of the "riddles" - a book of ____________?  The head teacher knew, she had written 300 of them.  Mr. Woodhouse came up with a frozen maid named Kitty. 

However, Emma knows that the CHARADE, somehow or other spelled out "courtship" and was meant for Harriet from Mr. Elton.  Emma makes up her mind at the same time that she deceives it.

Apparently Emma (Austen?) is not enamored of reading for pleasure, as is most of us here.  It is much easier for Emma to chat than to study, much easier to keep her mind busy with arrangements for others; particularly marriage arrangements.

JoanK

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #111 on: March 07, 2015, 05:16:54 PM »
Austen LOVED reading -- novels that is. I'm surprised to see her with a heroine who "means to read more" but never does, but I suspect she's talking about the "improving books" that young ladies were supposed to read (books of sermons etc). If the gothic romances that Austen loved had come her way, I'll bet she would have gobbled them up!

Halcyon

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #112 on: March 07, 2015, 05:36:43 PM »
Your question about Mr. Martin....we know about him through the eyes of Emma and Mr. Knightly who have very different views and, of course, Harriet's view. Emma is only looking at the class issue while Mr. Knightly is looking at Mr. Martin's character. Harriet seems to see the whole picture, his work ethic, kindness to his mother and sisters and his playfulness. There's more to Harriiet than meets the eye. What if Emma were to fall in love with Mr. Martin?  Wouldn't that be a hoot?  I just realized that Emma judges Mr. Martin by his looks while she complains that men should look beyond beauty!

Halcyon

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #113 on: March 07, 2015, 05:54:06 PM »
Quote

It's a good book; however to be a bit critical, isn't it all such an old story?
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Ella, I agree. I haven't read a story like this in ages. I'm not a romantic so I'm finding all the disfunctions of the characters and the times very amusing. Group therapy would work wonders for this crew.

pedln

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #114 on: March 07, 2015, 06:07:51 PM »
Charade -- how different from our "acting out" game.  These with the printed words are really quite clever, I must applaud Mr. Elton (or was it the work of his friend.)  Courtship has been explained, but "Kitty, a fair but frozen maid" is lost to me.

And gruel -- a tasty little discussion there.  My first thought was Oliver T -- "please sir, I want some more."  I'll stand with the Knightley brothers.  Ugh. Cooked cereal, the bane of my childhood.  I was forced to eat it for breakfast until I was twelve.  Then my mother would pay me 5 cents for every bowl I ate.

Poor Emma.  Does she have a cross to bear or should we say, "She manages her father just fine."  It seems both she and Mr. George Knightley work nimbly to keep the idle conversations smooth and without rancor.

pedln

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #115 on: March 07, 2015, 06:08:51 PM »
I'm having a problem posting my replies.  I have to hit the post button several times.

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #116 on: March 07, 2015, 10:49:06 PM »
Neither am I, HALCYON, a romantic.  That's, no doubt,  why I am having trouble reading it, perhaps I should try the Cliff Notes.  But I decided not to, for some stupid reason.

JOANK about Emma/Jane 's love of reading I quote this from Chapter IX:

"Her (Emma) views of improving her little friend's mind, by a great deal of useful reading and conversation, had never yet led to more than a few first chapters, and the intention of going on tomorrow.  It was much easier to chat than to study......."    Perhaps, "useful reading" is not the same as a novel; what kind of reading do you suppose is imagined here?  




bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #117 on: March 07, 2015, 11:03:48 PM »
Ella,  
Quote
"Emma knows that the CHARADE, somehow or other spelled out "courtship" and was meant for Harriet from Mr. Elton. Emma makes up her mind at the same time that she deceives it.  "

I ask, who is deceiving whom, with this charade?  Emma, Mr. Elton, or Harriet?  
(Did I use my correct grammar on my who, and whom?  Never could get it right in English class. ::))

"O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" by Walter Scott

There is no doubt in my mind Mr. Elton has wrote this poem for Emma.  Yet, he knows full well that Emma will indeed believe it is for Harriet.  Mr. Knightley, was trying to warn Emma of Mr. Elton's character flaws.  We see where on pg. 395,  Miss Nash is telling Harriet, about Mr. Perry telling her, of Mr. Elton leaving for London.

"and he told Miss Nash that as he was coming back yesterday, from Clayton Park he had met Mr. Elton, and found, to his great surprise, that Mr. Elton was actually on his road to London, and not meaning to return till the morrow, though it was the whist club night, which he had been never known to miss before; and Mr. Perry had remonstrated with him about it, and told him how shabby it was in him, their best player, to absent himself, and tried very much to persuade him to put off his journey only one day; but it would not do; Mr. Elton had been determined to go on, and had said, in a very particular way indeed, that he was going on business which he would not put off for any inducement in the world; and something about a very enviable commision, and being the bearer of something exceedingly precious.  Mr. Perry could not quite understand him, but he was very sure there must be a lady in the case, and he told him so; and Mr. Elton only looked very conscious and smiling, and rode off in great spirits, Miss Nash had told her all this, and had talked a great deal more about Mr. Elton; and said, looking so very significantly at her, "that she did not pretend to understand what his business might be, but she only knew that any woman whom Mr. Elton could prefer, she should think the luckiest woman in the world; for beyond a doubt, Mr. Elton had not his equal for beauty or agreeableness."

So, Harriet has been warned of Mr. Elton, possibly having something to do with a lady.  Emma has been warned by Mr. Knightley, that Mr. Elton has character flaws.  Mr. Elton is well aware Emma is trying to matchmake him with Harriet.  What a tangled web we have indeed!

What might this mean?  ??? "enviable commision, and being the bearer of something exceedingly precious"

My eyes are tiring, so I suppose I will have to go to bed before beginning chapter 10.   Can't wait to see where this is all leading up to.

Don't forget to Spring forward...........set your clocks ahead one hour.  That means I lose one hour of sleep!  Ughhh...
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden

Ella Gibbons

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #118 on: March 07, 2015, 11:08:11 PM »
In thinking over what I just typed, I hasten to add that a character in a novel is not always reflective of the author; however, it seems to be more so in this book.   Isn't that part of the charm of it?  Or is it the display of the time in which they lived, how they lived?   Or is it because the author was a woman in an era where only men were published.

Wherein lies the fame of the book?

bellamarie

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Re: Emma~ Jane Austen ~ March - April Book Club Online
« Reply #119 on: March 07, 2015, 11:16:37 PM »
I tend to think every author writes a story with a little bit of themselves in one of their characters.  With Austen, I see it has much to do with the era.  Many women in her novels can portray her, since many women lived similar lives back then.  Where I think Austen makes the difference, is making her heroine a bit more outspoken, and independent. That is where I think Austen had fun in her writing.  I am an amateur author, and I can see Jane Austen laughing and smiling, as she writes these pages of Emma, especially the sparring between Emma and Mr. Knightley.
“What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?...Was ever anything so civil?”
__Anthony Trollope, The Warden