Emma By Jane Austen
In this essay, I will select three chapters in the novel that helps
us, understand what is happening in the novel, appreciate the
characters more fully, appreciate the writers skill, learn about 19th
century life and to understand the writers purpose. The three chapters
that I will be using are chapter one, two and forty-two.
There is a reasonable quantity of places mentioned in the novel, all
the residents' houses help us appreciate their owners' wealth and
their social status.
The Woodhouses' consist of Emma and her father, Mr Woodhouse. They
live at Hartfield, in Highbury; a reasonably small town, described as
a 'stones throw away from London' but this was still a somewhat long
distance in those days and when travelled would be classed as a
'trip'. Emma was a 'handsome, clever and rich girl. She was the
younger of two sisters; the other had married and moved away from
home. Her mother had died 'too long ago to remember.' From the age of
five, 'Miss Taylor' was the governess of Emma and for no longer than
sixteen years she cared and looked after her, until Miss Taylor got
married to Mr Weston. Mr Woodhouse is extremely obsessive about his
health, 'a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind and
body, he was a much older man in many ways than in years; and
everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and amiable
Mr Knightly lives in Donwell Abbey. Mr Knightly was 'a sensible man
about seven and thirty.' He was an old acquaintance of the
Woodhouse's. He lived around a mile from Highbury. Mr Knightly was
always cheerful, which always gave others a good impression of him.
Quite early on in the play we discover that Mr Knightly is the only
character that notices flaws in Emma and he is the only one who lets
her know of these.
Mr Weston is a resident of Highbury and lives at Randalls. He was born
and raised by a respectable family, which for two or three generations
had been increasing in status due to their property. Mr Weston had
received a great education and was a retired military man. He was
married once before to a Miss Churchill who had died three years into
the marriage. They had had one child called Frank. Once Miss Churchill
had died; Mr Weston could not afford to look after him, so Miss
Churchill's brother and his wife took care of him. Mr Weston's life
started to look up when he met Miss Taylor. He married, bought a house
and had made a fortune.
Mr Elton is a young man, who lives alone at the vicarage. He spends a
lot of time with the Woodhouses and had always liked Emma from the
first time he had seen her.
Other places that are mentioned in the novel are: -
The Martin's farm
The Bates modest rooms
All of these places help us understand the society and social classes
in the story. Mr...