vrijdag 18 september 2015

Jane Austen: Emma


This is my review of my reread of Emma by Jane Austen.
The story is 476 pages and it has a 10-page essay by David Lodge.

“Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.”

I enjoyed Emma very much, more so then my first time reading it. I got more out of it because I could see more then Emma’s flaws, Mr. Knightley’s preaching and almost every other character’s nagging and complaining. 

Emma is very different from Austen’s previous novels. Emma is a woman who doesn’t need to marry because she has financial stability. There’s no pressure for her or her family to find her a man with enough money.

But because her life and company is so dull, she has to imagine things to do to keep her mind occupied and thus comes to matchmaking and inventing drama.
Emma can get away with her meddling, her snobbism, condescending remarks and manipulating of Harriet because she’s rich but also because she’s sweet, loving, devoted, cheerful, intelligent, witty, funny and innocent and she really does mean well.
Emma matures and grows as the novel progresses and that’s one of its main appeals. You see her change right before your eyes into someone you would want as your friend.

I abhor Frank though. Frank is not a nice character. He abuses Jane to others even though they are engaged and he tries to ‘seduce’ Emma and thus causes her pain intentionally. Emma is not in love with him, but that doesn’t change his intentions and his actions to being for fun or harmless. I think he would have done the same thing even if he believed Emma did have feelings for him. He only cares for what he wants.

Mistakes in communication, flawed characters, natural, clear dialogue and very human emotions make this a very realistic novel.
And it reads so easy!

Happy reading!

Finishing this beautiful couple.