Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Just finished re-reading Emma by Jane Austen a few days ago.

It took me over a week, but I’m very glad I re-read it. For one thing, I now understand why I didn’t like it at first. For another, I like it much better now! And Jane Austen really deserves re-reads. I noticed and appreciated different things in Emma and Pride & Prejudice the second time. Now, I’m going to interview myself about the book. **SPOILERS AHEAD**

Why didn’t I like it the first time?
I think I thought it seemed too much like reading gossip. We have matchmaking, secret engagements, balls, expected visits, unpleasant people, etc. I read in the introduction by…some person… that Emma is devoid of violence and scandal, such as the Lydia/Wickham thing in Pride & Prejudice, Willoughby in Sense & Sensibility, the accident in Persuasion, and so on. (I can’t think of any more examples, actually. ;) ) I didn’t entirely agree with this since there’s that engagement between Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax that shocked everyone, but I think that could be the reason I didn’t like it the first time. ‘Twas just so mild!

What did I notice the second time through?
I noticed many hints of Mr. Elton’s intentions that Emma herself didn’t notice. I recognized Mr. Knightley’s jealousy of Frank Churchill.

I find it so funny that even though it was suggested to Emma (by people wiser than her) that Mr. Elton meant to marry her and not Harriet, and that it seemed very possible that there was some “attatchment,” as Jane Austen says, between Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax, Emma refuses to believe either and is consequently shocked! (I suppose she wasn’t so shocked about Mr. Elton. John Knightley did make her more aware). That’s not exactly what I think is funny, though. The funny thing is that I was just as blind as Emma!

What did I appreciate most the second time?
Mr. Knightley’s confession, definitely. It kind of freaked me out the first time, since he was 16 years older than her…

Well. That was nice, I ought to interview myself more often.


Orious said...

16 years older? *dies* That's allot of years, a decade and a half, ack. A 10.2% of a century. (I think, probably got the math wrong, do correct me if need be Fauni.)

Love the new template, the colors are very nice, quite like you I think. Do you think they are like yourself?

"Devoid of scandal" sounds nice. I mean, not in the sense of nice not to have it, when, well, I'm sure it's nice not to have scandal in real life, just in a book it's more thrilling. Well. What I mean is "Devoid of scandal" is lovely to say, two very good words to be put in the same sentence. *is now somewhat confused*

Elenatintil said...

Well, remember, the gap between Mr.Rochester and Jane in Jane Eyre is even greater than that!

One thing that makes a classic a classic is that you CAN read it over and over and gain new insight each time. I would agree that I probably enjoy Emma more with each reading. (I fall in love with Mr. Knightley again each time, that's for sure!)

The other interesting thing about Emma that sets is apart, is that the Heroine never leaves her own town. In all the other Austen books, the Heroine travels somewhere. Emma stays put. Plus she's rich and doesn't need to worry about money.

I think I would like Lizzy Bennet more as a friend though- Emma and I would probably argue all the time over who was right. But Mr. Knightley...need I say anymore?

Delaney said...

Orio- yes, I suppose they are rather like me... a bit. I need to fix the header. It's a little too big...

Elena- you're actually the reason I decided to give Emma another chance, since it was up near the top on your favorite Jane Austen books in order list. :P And yes, I was going to bring up Jane/Rochester, but I forgot to. Heh. Typical me. Yes, I think I'd like Lizzy as a friend, too. Or Anne Elliot.

Elenatintil said...

Well that makes me feel important! =) I'm glad my suggestion was a good one!