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On Happiness In “Emma” By Jane Austen

742 words - 3 pages

"Emma", by Jane Austen is an exemplary novel that deeply analyzes each character through unwinding conflict of plot, while determining the true nature of promising happiness within society. Many characters experience generous amounts of bewilderment that greatly affect their maturity and self identification, involving different stages of sensibility. The way in which characters tackle numerous problems and dilemmas throughout the novel, is a critical factor to their own well-being. However, some characters are being victimized indirectly by others, which often results in the damage of harmony and common sense. Jane Austen slyly uses the persona of Emma Woodhouse to enhance psychological influence one can set on another, the inferior one, and therefore affect or postpone the sense of true content. Such is the effect of Emma's opinionative deeds as to her attempt at guiding Harriet Smith onto the right road to apparent, greater self-confidence and appreciation. Emma tackles Harriet's own love dilemmas indirectly, through words of conviction and persuasion, which are yet open to modification of Harriet's. However, this is an antagonistic and cruel move of Emma to pull, because she is aware of her own influence on Harriet, and instead of allowing the girl to think by herself and do as she pleases (maybe even learn on her own mistakes), Emma follows the routes of her own, always correctly indicated thoughts. Throughout these actions, Harriet's sense of happiness is constantly being questioned, because if she was to correspond to her own intuition and instinct, she would be much happier and not as hurt due to love-match failures that she had experienced. If Harriet married Mr. Martin earlier on, and had not tortured herself through admiration of several novel characters which are considered to be out of her league, she would have escaped suffering and contamination of her own ignorance or vanity, supplied by Emma. Many complications caused heartaches and unnecessary mind games throughout the novel, when the outcome of Harriet's situation was as reasonable and pleasing as it could have been from the very beginning. Emma Woodhouse herself is a self-oriented human being, constantly seeking for everyone's...

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