ENG 513: Emma

I know it’s been a LONG TIME since I wrote anything on my Jane Austen series. But, I figured that I had better finish it out. I’ve done 2/3 of the books that I read; just two more to write about.

This week, I’m writing about Emma. My professor said you’re either going to love Emma or you’re going to hate her. My roommate hated Emma until she talked to Dr. Wear about her. Me? I didn’t even finish the book…

I know! I know! Stop looking at me like that! I was exhausted. I was so sick of reading Austenian prose. I just wanted the semester to be over! Fortunately for me, I’d already picked the novels I was writing on for the final paper, and so I didn’t really have to pay attention to Emma. I basically SparkNoted my way through the class discussions. But hey, I got an A in the class – that counts for something, right??

Warning: There will be spoilers. This book is over 200 years old. You should know this by now.

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What I wanted more of: More people telling Emma no.

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Least Favorite Character: Oh, it’s Emma, for sure. I absolutely could not stand her. She’s more than a little prissy, and all of her attempts to be such a successful matchmaker go horribly awry. She pretty much lucked out with her first (and only!) successful match, but that does not stop her from attempting to pair up every single person in the village. I wanted to take her and shake her! Emma is absolutely blind to the trauma she can cause when meddling in the lives of other people.

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Favorite Character: I think I’ll have to go with Mr. Knightley here. He’s literally the only person in the novel who has any sense. Harriet just blindly follows Emma’s suggestions throughout the novel, which leaves her heartbroken (at least until her “true love” comes through and rights all of Emma’s wrongs), but Knightley at least makes an attempt to tell Emma that what she is doing is wrong.

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Rant: I don’t like how Knightley ends up with Emma. He spends the entire novel telling her that she’s a foolish girl and that she needs to think about how her actions are going to affect others, but then he ends up marrying her in the end. The entire time, he’s been attracted to her. I just don’t understand it. Maybe I’ve dated too many bad guys. Maybe I’ve seen this happen over and over. You can’t change someone just because you started dating them. And someone like Emma isn’t going to change as quickly as Knightley is going to want her to change. I foresee a very doomed marriage.

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Final Thoughts: I didn’t actually finish this book because I couldn’t stand Emma. I think I made it to the middle of Volume II before I gave up. I don’t think I’m particularly qualified to write a lot more than I already have about this novel.

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I think what I disliked the most about the Austen class is that I did not have enough time to pace things out. I understand that it was a 15 week class, but man, I never seemed to have enough time to finish the books that were dumped on me.

I guess I’m just not an Austen fan. At some point in the future, I may come back and attempt to finish these books on my own time, but today is not that day. This is not that year.

To those that read Emma and liked it, tell me why you liked it in the comments! To those who DNF’d Emma, like I did, tell me why! Let me know your thoughts.

And as always, keep reading.

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