AUSTEN, JANE. "EMMA."
Analyzes development of protagonist's character & consciousness & author's messages about morality, social roles, individual responsibility & marriage.
Jane Austen's Emma is a didactic novel whose chief lesson is that, although society as it was constituted at the time was well ordered, it was up to... more
Jane Austen's Emma is a didactic novel whose chief lesson is that, although society as it was constituted at the time was well ordered, it was up to the individual to make more or less of her/his position within that order. This is not to deny, however, that there were subversive aspects to Austen's fiction for, in designing a novel in which a young woman learns how to be a lady, the author made something more of the all-important goal of marriage than her readers might have expected. Emma Woodhouse, with all her advantages, is simply not ready to marry until she has learned how to learn. In any conventional sense, of course, Emma was fully ready to marry. Her age, fortune, education, and social position all seemed to render her an ideal candidate for marriage. But Emma is unready because she is, as yet, unable to accept guidance. In most cases a young woman's