Emma Questions, Week One



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  1. #1
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Emma Questions, Week One

    Hey guys, I hope you're enjoying the book so far. I got some questions together for you, but as I've said before please feel free to add any additional questions or comments that came to mind when you were reading this week!

    Here goes!

    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    2. In the opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?

    3. When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her?

    4. In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?

    5. When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?

    6. Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree?

    7. Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?

    8. In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with your feelings." Do you believe Emma? What parts of her character make you believe/disbelieve her?

    9. Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?

    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    11. In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?

    12. What do you think about Emma’s interest in Mr. Frank Churchill? Do you think he will come to Randalls?

    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?

    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    3. Any comments you'd like to add? Things that interested or bothered you about the novel?

    Now reading: Sula by Toni Morrison, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

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  3. #2
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    Here are my answers and a disclosure that this may not be mentally stimulating to anyone reading them.


    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    Yes. You can tell right from the start that Emma is a unique character, ready to face anything that comes her way, and going looking for things if nothing comes to her.

    2. In the opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?

    I think Mr. Woodhouse is a caring, family man, of some wealth, and not worried much about others, though he is inclined to take great pleasure in his acquaintances. To me he seems quite content to live his life in his house “the way life was” with his own family and keeping to himself.


    3. When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her? Given Emma’s success with Mrs. Weston, it seems that Harriet is a bit more of a challenge. Having little knowledge of Harriet’s background, it is a bit tougher for Emma to make the match and the “sale”. Her motivations seem innocent enough, there doesn't appear to be anything in it for her, except of course, something else to gloat about. Emma's interest in Harriet doesn't have any bearing on my liking or disliking her at the moment.

    4. In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?

    Given that Harriet is being boarded and taken care of, she must come from some sort of money. Though I can’t recall any mention of Harriet’s style of dress, it would seem that she wore the norm of the time, rather than rags, in which case, Emma may have not been friends with her given her dislike of Mr. Martin.

    5. When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?

    I think Emma is trying to do what is best for her friend. On a side note, I also believe that Emma takes great pleasure in not only meddling in the affair, but in the outcome, should it lead to marriage. Then, Emma can gloat about her success in making the match.

    6. Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree? I personally don’t agree with Mr. Knightley. Friends can be found, oftentimes, in the most unusual and unlikely of places.

    7. Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?

    I think Mr. Knightley meant, in a polite way, that to know Emma can be tiresome at times, with her seemingly know-it-all attitude, and never being wrong (in her eyes).

    8. In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with your feelings." Do you believe Emma? What parts of her character make you believe/disbelieve her?

    My take on this was that Emma didn't actually give Harriet any advice, rather gentle nudges here and there, on teh direction she wanted Harriet to go. Though after Harriet made her decision, Emma admits that was what she wanted Harriet to do.

    9. Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?

    Given her track record, one would have to assume she has an “eye” for such a thing, whereas, were I in Emma’s place, I would leave well enough alone.

    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    The conversation? What conversation? I don’t believe there was anything of merit said. I think a better term would be “Lack of conversation”. I didn’t take anything more about the characters from the dinner.

    11. In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?

    This is what I thought from the first time Emma began plotting to pair Harriet and Mr. Elton, that we would end up seeing Mr. Elton either chasing after, or marrying Emma, and having nothing to do with Harriet.

    12. What do you think about Emma’s interest in Mr. Frank Churchill? Do you think he will come to Randalls?

    My initial thoughts of Emma’s interest in Frank were, good, now she can start concentrating on herself for a change. After being somewhat of a busybody with Mrs. Weston, and more recently Harriet, Emma should worry about herself more than the others.

    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?

    So far, I must admit, that I don’t like the book. I am happy, that Jane Austen lost a lot of the wordy description though.

    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    In some cases, I find myself re-reading some passages, to try to make better understanding of the book, but overall, I don’t feel the language is an obstacle. It just takes some getting used to. I have read some classic novels, and had taken a British Lit. course some time ago, most of what I read, though, in terms of classics, I read on my own.

  4. #3
    Puck
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    Here are my answers to the questions from Week 1:
    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?
    Yes. Emma is a strong willed and opinionated young lady.

    2. In the opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?
    Mr. Woodhouse is a family man in his later years that is very comfortable in his life and very set in his ways. He sounds like a kind father who likes to voice his opinion.

    3. When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her?
    I think that Emma is saddened by the departure of Mrs. Weston from her household and is looking for a project to occupy her time. I think that Emma’s goal is well intentioned and she is looking out for Miss Smith in her own way. Miss Smith seems very unsure of her and looks to Emma for guidance. I don’t like the advice the Emma gives her, but I think that Emma does care about Miss Smith and wants the best for her.


    4. In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?
    I think Emma believes that Harriet Smith should be “the daughter of a gentleman” so that she acts in a respectable and ladylike manner befitting of a lady of Emma’s upbringing. I think that Emma is concerned about Harriet’s upbringing and the fact that her biological parents are unknown. I think that Harriet sounds like she has had a good upbringing and that she is a kind and caring person.


    5. When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?
    I think that Emma sees Mr. Elton as a more suitable match for Harriet than Mr. Wilson. She wants Harriet to be in the same social circle and have the same social standing as her. More importantly (and selfishly), she doesn’t want to lose Harriet’s friendship and wants to keep her nearby as well.

    6. Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree?
    I disagree with Mr. Knightley’s disapproval of their friendship. He wants Emma to be more knowledgeable and more well-read. He thinks that Harriet will not encourage Emma’s intellectual curiosity. He also feels that Harriet will become accustomed to a higher station in life and that she will be uncomfortable when she is back among her own “peers.” I think that Emma and Harriet were lonely for female companionship. I also think that Emma likes to be in charge and that Harriet likes to follow. So their friendship is solidly based on their personality quirks.


    7. Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?
    **SPOILER ALERT** Since I already know how the book ends I would have to say that his true romantic feelings for Emma are beginning to emerge and at this point in time, he is unaware of his feelings towards her.

    8. In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with your feelings." Do you believe Emma? What parts of her character make you believe/disbelieve her?
    No I do not believe Emma! I think Emma is very clear about her opinions on the proposal and of Mr. Martin. I actually thought it was funny that she said she would have nothing to do with it. She did not want Harriet to accept the offer of marriage.

    9. Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?
    She is a horrible matchmaker! But again, I think that she is well intentioned so I forgive her match-making debacles.

    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?
    I didn’t think that the dinner added much to my knowledge of the characters.

    11. In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?
    Yes, I think it is ironic. She has no clue about Mr. Elton’s true feelings. She is iron-willed in her convictions and it will be her ultimate undoing.



    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?
    The first three chapters were hard for me to get into. I have seen a few TV and movie versions of the book that have already endeared me to the characters of Emma and Mr. Knightly, so that helped me get past the first few chapters. Now that I am further into the book, I am finding myself enjoying it more and more.

    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?
    I have read many classic novels. But it has been a few years since I have read my last one. The language hasn’t been an obstacle to my understanding. Although I am probably not reading as fast as I normally do.

    3. Any comments you'd like to add? Things that interested or bothered you about the novel?
    The characters love to speak in very long speeches!

    Roxie

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  6. #4
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    After my lit classes I promised myself I would never formally answer questions again. (Hated my professor)

    I would like to answer a couple of the questions.

    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    I have to agree with the statement. She seems very advance in her thinking compared to the others her age.

    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    It might just be me. But, I feel like I learned a good deal about Emma. She seemed to put a great deal of effort into keeping everyone happy. I wouldn't have thought she would be one to take the time to do that.

    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?

    I'm intrigued. After the first couple of chapters I thought about banging my head on my desk. I decided to keep going and now I want to know what happens. I can sorta see a little of Emma in myself. I would much rather match make then worry about my own affairs.


    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    I think the language is a huge obstacle for me. At times I keep rereading going "huh". I have read a few classic's but not as many as I should have read.




  7. #5
    d'Artagnan Astoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    I am not good answering questions. I will just talk about how I like reading Emma. I like Emma. I also think she is a strong willed and opinionated young lady. I like Mr Woodhouse I believe he loves his daughter and wants the best for her. Harriet is a kind and caring person. I hope Emma has not messed things up for her in the romance dept. I would hate to see Harriet end up alone. I wondering if Mr Knightly has some romantic interest in Emma that we may find out later in the book. I guess I will have to wait and see. I did not find the book hard to get into. I was surprise by this. I did have to print out a character list so I could keep everyone straight. I do not find the language a obstacle sometimes I need to go back and read something again. So far I am enjoying the book.

  8. #6
    Puck
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    I'm still playing catch-up, so I may not be able to answer all of the questions unless my long ago first reading stands me in good stead. But here we go.

    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    Emma is no doubt a very capable young woman, and on top of that she has a pretty high opinion of her own powers of perception and a very definite view of how life is to be conducted. That said, she lacks sensitivity, tact and, shall we say, charity.

    2. In the opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?

    Dear old Mr. Woodhouse is a delight. At least to read about. I think he would be rather trying to live with. Of course I know people who, to varying degrees, hate to see change happen. And who feel that the way they perceive life and feel things must be the way everyone does. His is a life that has little scope. He is kindhearted, but not wise. It's actually pretty easy to see how such a father could have such a daughter.

    3. When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her?

    At this point I like Emma, but think she could use a good whack upside the head. Her motivations are those of a busybody, not a friend.

    4. In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?

    A "natural" daughter, I think is the phrase used. Which to me means Harriet was likely born out of wedlock, the product of a union between a rich man and a woman not his wife. The rich man part is enough in Emma's eyes to elevate Harriet to a social status above that of a common working person.

    5. When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?

    Not sure about this one.

    6. Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree?

    The basis of his disapproval is the fact that it isn't really a friendship, but an ego boost for Emma and an ill-directed hero worship by Harriet.

    7. Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?

    I think he sees Emma's potential and is anxious she will not direct her considerable energies and talents in a way that is positive.

    (after this my long term memory fails me)

    8. In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with yot t

    9. Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?

    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    11. In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?

    12. What do you think about Emma’s interest in Mr. Frank Churchill? Do you think he will come to Randalls?

    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it? Love it. Mostly because of Austen's skill as a writer. Her amazing insight into human behavior and her ability to express it so well makes me really quite envious.

    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    Not at all. And yes, there are long periods of time when that is all I read.

    3. Any comments you'd like to add? Things that interested or bothered you about the novel?

    I'm just jealous. Austen's work is timeless.

    Best,
    Alan Hutcheson
    author of Boomerang, a comic novel of international intrigue played out by characters operating way outside their comfort zones.

    Boomerang at Barnes and Noble

  9. #7
    Mowgli arne_bue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    1.In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    That is my impression, yes. She seems rather full of herself, and she appears to seek justification of her standing in society through her matchmaking, which, to her, is her power over others.
    suchthe opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?

    Yes, I have known a few people similar in some ways to Mr. Woodhouse. I think he is set in his ways, and likes his environment to seem 'safe' and 'controlled' and he seems to enjoy being taken care of. I think there are slight indications of his age affecting his mental acuity, though I hesitate to call that dementia, at this point.

    3.When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her?

    She considers herself above Harriet, even to the extent of seeing her as a 'project.' I do not particularly like her motivations, as is seems cold and calculating. To a degree, I do not particularly like Emma at this point.

    4.In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?

    I don't know why she thought this. Perhaps she was imaging her to be such, so she can justify her further efforts in regards to her “project.” Harriet's background is a mystery to me. I don't know why, but at this point, since her background is kept closeted, I suspect her to be illegitimate.

    5.When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?

    To me, this is a manipulated situation. It is not well-founded. Mr. Elton could pursue a courtship with others, such as the rumored sisters each with a great deal of money, although perhaps money is not important to Mr. Elton in such a pursuit. The situation seems to be Emma's plaything.

    6.Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree?

    I think Emma is using Harriet, and, likewise, Harriet seems to need Emma to enhance her status in society. Mr. Knightley, I believe, wishes Emma to be less meddlesome.

    7.Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?

    I suspect Mr. Knightley finds Emma a challenge, and the phrase “one feels for Emma” may well foreshadow something.

    8.In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with your feelings." Do you believe Emma? What parts of her character make you believe/disbelieve her?

    Emma is controlling her projects, so I disbelieve her assertion.

    9.Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?

    If I had to guess, a matchmaker must suggest positive attributes of matches, steer people together, and enhance views of the parties of such matchmaking. Emma is skillful in working projects such as this. Emma, once on such a project, once her mind is made up, appears to be nearly obsessed with her correctness of choice.

    10.When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    I skimmed through this part of the novel. I learned a little more about Isabella's husband, and how the English of this period appear to relate to one another; however, I don't think I learned a great deal more. Perhaps you can fill me in on this.

    11.In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?

    This might well foreshadow a failure in marriage between Harriet and Mr. Elton. And this thought seems to describe Emma's own mistake which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.

    12.What do you think about Emma’s interest in Mr. Frank Churchill? Do you think he will come to Randalls?

    I might be wrong about this, because of scanning: but I think Emma's interests Mr. Frank Churchill could only be one of curiosity, and that she may likely only think of looking him over as another 'project.' If I missed something, please let me know.


    Overall impressions:
    1.What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?

    I like the story.

    2.Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    I recently finished The Leavenworth Case, and That Affair Next Door, both detective stories written in the 1800's by Anna Katharine Green. So I am used to the language, and generally, I hope (I am sure I will learn more from other comments) I am understanding what's going on.


    3. Any comments you'd like to add? Things that interested or bothered you about the novel?

    The dinner conversation seemed to go on and on. Maybe I was just tired when I was reading, but I didn't see how this advanced the story, but merely reinforced what I sensed or already knew.T


  10. #8
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Emma Questions, Week One

    Hey all, I thought I'd jump in and put some of my answers up to these questions now, before I post next week's questions and readings. Remember, these are by no means THE answers, just my own personal impressions of the novel...


    1. In Chapter 2, we are told that “dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been.” Is this the impression you have of Emma from what we have learned so far?

    I can't stand Emma. This is going to be the effect of most of my replies so I might as well get that out there now. I do like the novel, just not the character. So, going from that, I think that there's no need to be equal to Emma's situation. She's spoiled, rich, well-loved and her governess/best friend married and moved walking-distance away. In my eyes, her entire life is one that has no drama, except for what she creates herself.

    2. In the opening chapters, we learn about Mr. Woodhouse’s character. What do you think of him? Do you know anybody like this?

    I like Mr. Woodhouse. He kind of reminds me of my grandmother, just in that she finds the silliest things to worry about, but it's endearing rather than annoying. He's a sweet man who does care about those around him, and I'm glad that the characters defer politely to him.

    3. When Emma meets Harriet Smith, she considers perfecting her to be a good project to take up some of her time. Emma believes “It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers.” What do you think of Emma’s goal? How do you feel about her motivations? Does her interest in Miss Smith make you like or dislike her?
    I do like Harriet, but this being said, Emma's relationship with her is the main reason I dislike Emma. I think that Emma is setting the poor girl up to be hurt, and Harriet is so grateful to be included in Emma's circle that she'd do anything to stay around. Besides that, however, I think that Emma does like her, and means well. But she's completely blind to the quite real possibility she has of destroying Harriet's chances at happiness.

    4. In Chapter 4, Emma tells Harriet Smith that she must be the daughter of a gentleman. Why would she think this? What do you think about Harriet’s background?

    I have to agree with Alan here and say that I think that Harriet is an illegitimate daughter of a gentleman. Since I think this, I find Emma's attempts to get her to marry "up" are a little untoward. If Harriet was rich, she'd have easy pickings for a husband. But for Harriet, I think happiness is much more important than money, and I really, really hope she goes for Mr. Martin.

    5. When Emma considers Mr. Elton as a possible match for Harriet, she thinks that “it would be an excellent match; and only too palpably desirable, natural, and probable, for her to have much merit in planning it. She feared it was what every body else must think of and predict.” What do you think of her interest in promoting this match? Is it well-founded?

    Obviously I'm past this part, but I really didn't like Emma's match-making here. I love Mr. Martin, and think that Harriet would be happiest with him. Emma seems to be confused about Harriet's background and doesn't realize that she has very little chance of marrying a man like Elton. Especially since Mr. Knightley mentioned Elton's thirst for a profitable marriage.


    6. Mr. Knightley disapproves of the friendship between Emma and Harriet Smith. Do you agree?

    I so agree. Although Harriet cherishes Emma's friendship, I think that Emma can do her a great deal more harm than good.

    7. Mr. Knightley tells Mrs. Weston that “There is an anxiety, a curiosity in what one feels for Emma.” What do you think he means by this?

    Emma, as much as I dislike her, has a very interesting personality. She's a little too full of herself, but the respectable way she carries herself makes people pay attention to her. I feel that Mr. Knightley, however, means is a little bit concerned that she has her head in the clouds too much, and may spoil all of her possibilities by being too nosy for her own good, and the good of others.

    8. In Chapter 7, when Harriet receives a proposal from Mr. Martin, Emma tells her "I shall not give you any advice, Harriet. I will have nothing to do with it. This is a point which you must settle with your feelings." Do you believe Emma? What parts of her character make you believe/disbelieve her?

    This is one place that I was just furious with Emma. She knew that Harriet would listen to her, regardless of her own feelings. Then she pretty much says "I don't think you should marry Mr. Martin. Don't marry Mr. Martin. But, oh, don't mind my opinion, what do you think?" I felt that Emma may have believed she wasn't interfering, but she was in my mind, completely responsible for Harriet's rejection of him.

    9. Emma considers herself a good match-maker. What do you think of her match-making skills?

    I think Emma is way too clueless to mess with people's love lives. She needs to focus her energies on things that she might be better at, like practicing piano or maybe just learning how to listen without hurting anybody.


    10. When Isabella visits, the family has dinner together. What do you think of the conversation that goes on around the table? Do we learn anything more about the characters we have met so far?

    I could have sworn I already posted my answer to this, but I don't see it, so I'll say it again. I think that what I saw at this dinner was a budding romance between Mr. Knightley and Emma. Since they have a very confrontational friendship, anytime they agree with each other makes me pay attention. Throughout the dinner, Knightley and Emma had the same polite concerns over the direction of the conversation and over decorous behavior. I hope you all didn't get frustrated by my asking that question, I just felt that it was interesting to see the way they interacted.


    11. In Chapter 13, Mr. John Knightley hints to Emma that Mr. Elton may be after her. She rejects this idea, and walks on, “in the consideration of the blunders which often arise from a partial knowledge of circumstances, of the mistakes which people of high pretensions to judgment are for ever falling into.” Do you sense any irony in this thought? What might it be foreshadowing?

    I think the irony that I saw in this quote was that it was Emma who was blundering, from her own partial understanding of the circumstances. And I think that's my problem with Emma as a person in general. She steps without finding a strong foothold, and doesn't think about the consequences or foundations of her actions.

    12. What do you think about Emma’s interest in Mr. Frank Churchill? Do you think he will come to Randalls?

    I actually didn't think Frank would come, but I guess we all know better now.

    Overall impressions:
    1. What do you think of the book so far? Do you like it? Dislike it?

    Love the book, can't stand Emma. At all.

    2. Do you think that the language is an obstacle to your understanding? Have you read many classic novels?

    I don't have a problem with the language, except for in some parts where there is a conversation with very little to identify the speaker. I had to re-read one or two conversations like this. I do study English Lit, though, and the language is one of the things I like best about these old books, so while I do stumble occasionally, I don't find it daunting at all.

    3. Any comments you'd like to add? Things that interested or bothered you about the novel?

    Can't stress enough how much I dislike Emma. But, without her, the story would be too easy, and therefore there would be no book. Since I really am enjoying the book, that would be a bummer for me :P

    Well, there are my thoughts, and I hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers over my treatment of Emma. I'd love to see some more people comment, or comment again, even though next week's questions will be going up shortly. And if you would like to defend Emma, and maybe make me like her, please do. I love to hear differing opinions from my own.
    Jill


    [/quote]
    Now reading: Sula by Toni Morrison, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

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