CliffsNotes on Austen's Emma (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)
Thomas J Rountree
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CliffsNotes on Emma explores a satiric novel that stabs at manners and social classes, all the while delivering entertainment in a mild comic tone and sharing a lesson for the moralist.
Following the heroine’s slow and bumpy growth from self-deception to self-knowledge, this study guide provides summaries and commentaries on each chapter within the three-volume plot structure.
Other features that help you figure out this important work include
- Life and background of the author
- Introduction to and synopsis of the novel
- Critical analysis of plot, setting, point of view, characters, theme, and style
- Review questions and selected bibliography for further research
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obvious throughout the scene; also is his abrupt common sense, which is in comic conflict with Miss Bates’ urge to talk at length, for he politely and successfully cuts her short. His continuing attitude toward Frank is illustrated when, about to say that he will come inside for five minutes, he learns that Frank and Mrs. Weston are inside and quickly says that he does not have enough time and that Miss Bates’ room is already full enough. Crowning the comic scene is Miss Bates’ insistence upon
encourages her, thinking that, though he is her superior, such an attachment is “no bad thing for her friend.” Commentary The action of this chapter speaks for itself, but one should note the curious mixture of pathos and bathos in the character of Harriet and note also the conflictive elements in Emma, who in one breath feels shame for her part in the Elton affair and in the next breath encourages her friend along the same line. Worthy of notice also is the verbal irony in the polite and
the novel. Emma Woodhouse is the main character and hers is the most fully rounded, three-dimensional characterization. Her dominant trait is willful imagination, but she also has the elements of goodwill, rationality, and proportion when her willfulness does not lead her into self-deception. She is the fundamental changing character in the book, for she goes through a slow and bumpy growth from selfdeception to self-knowledge. She is the book’s aberration from the static social norm, and at the
that Mr. Knightley has nothing but respect for Robert. Ensuing events convince Emma that Harriet and Mr. Elton are developing a mutual regard, and she takes pride in the apparent success of her endeavor, at the same time affirming that she herself will never marry. For the Christmas holidays Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley, respectively the brother of George Knightley and the sister of Emma, come from London with their five children to visit the Woodhouses. On December 24, which proves to be a bad
she starts collecting in a book. Mr. Elton is persuaded to compose a charade, which he brings over the next morning, saying that it is a friend’s. After he leaves, Harriet cannot fathom its meaning, but Emma immediately sees that the solution is the word courtship. Emma is so delighted at her apparent success that, in spite of Mr. Elton’s earlier wishes to the contrary, she copies the poem in Harriet’s book, an act that disconcerts Mr. Elton when he returns and learns of it, though he takes it