Prof. Laurena Tsudama
Themes of Emma
The novel Emma by Jane Austen is still very popular and taught in modern society. The reason of this is that many of the themes and values that are displayed in Emma are still present and promoted today. The values of self-reflection, marrying for love, and the need for clarification. Also, due to the amount of self-reflection in this novel it is considered a “bildungsroman” which is a novel where a character is taught a lesson by the end of the story. Comment by Mansour, Alex J.: Try to combine this sentence with the previous one
Emma promotes the need for introspection, or self-reflection. There are many chapters in this novel dedicated to Emma’s own reflection of her emotions. Emma displays this by the end of the novel. In chapter 47, paragraph 25 Emma realizes her love for Mr. Knightly in this quote “A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like hers, once opening to suspicion, made rapid progress; she touched--she admitted--she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her with the speed of an arrow that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!” Emma realizes this by asking Harriet about Mr. Knightly returning Harriet affection, when Harriet says “Yes”, Emma realizes that she wants to marry Mr. Knightly. This is an important realization for Emma, because she realizes that her past vows against love and marriage have blinded her from seeing that she in in love with Mr. Knightly, and now that she has different views about love and marriage she can focus on her relationship with Mr. Knightly. This is still very useful and popular today. We use self-reflection to overcome our own problems like realizing your addicted, realizing you like someone, or realizing what to do for a career. Harriet also displays this self-reflection. After Emma fails to match her with Mr. Elton and Mr. Knightly, both because they had affections for Emma, Harriet eventually realizes that Emma is not so great at the match making game. So, when Mr. Martin proposes to Harriet a second time, Harriet goes against Emma’s advice from the beginning of the novel and says yes to Mr. Martin’s proposal. Comment by Mansour, Alex J.: This was a fantastic way to show how ideas used years and years ago can still be present and useful today Comment by Mansour, Alex J.: You might want to try to add this small paragraph into the previous one. Since they’re both using the self-reflection concept, they would work well with one another.
Another theme in Emma which is still present today is marrying for love. There are many cases of this in the novel....