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.