Today I will be writing about Emma by Jane Austen. I have recently just finished reading/listening to it (via my awesome Discman, I don’t care what you think!). My favorite classic author, besides Harper Lee, is Jane Austen and the first book of hers I read was Pride and Prejudice, though I am determined to read it again because I didn’t quite understand the whole thing.
Here is my summary of Emma:
Emma Woodhouse is 21 years-old and has determined never, ever to marry anyone and leave her father in a deplorable state because of his unease to change. After her governess-turned-friend, Miss Taylor, had recently been married to a neighbor and settled in Randalls, Emma was happy to have her companion so near, but found her world to be changing quite rapidly. In needing a confidante that could occupy her time that the new Mrs. Weston could not, Emma sought out Harriet Smith. By taking in Harriet, who had little claims to good society because of the mystery of her birth parents, Emma contrived to play matchmaker. Through this she encounters many miscommunications, hurt feelings, and good humor in it all. Yet in spite of her swearing off men, Emma accidentally finds herself in some quagmires herself with this thing called love.
Alright, all in all, it was a well written novel. I didn’t quite like it at first. Emma was too narcissistic for my taste but as she evolved as the book progressed and I found myself kind of rooting for her. She sees her own faults and does her best to make up for her follies, especially where she unintentionally hurt her friends feelings. I loathed Mrs. Elton. She was very stuck up and vain and I abhorred her. Please note the story is set in 1800s rural England, so there’s a reason that Emma and all the women characters are so confined to their homes and other things that are supposed to amuse them. Until I read the SparkNotes on this, I wasn’t sure what to really make of the book. I now understand the main themes and it makes a lot more sense than it did before. It is tougher to read, for me, because classics are harder to digest for me. I really enjoy them, though, and it helps a lot for me to hear them to understand them better. (I read a little too fast I think.) Anywhoo! during the story, I could totally tell something was going on between Jane and Frank, but I wasn’t quite sure the degree of their acquaintance. I will say that the foreshadowing of this is not terribly obvious but does indicate many things, so keep an eye out for that. OH! One last thing, I found Miss Bates a bit of a bore, but she is a sweet woman. Like wine, she is an acquired taste. It was a bit difficult to make up my own mind about the characters with the narrator spouting his/her own judgments, but it allowed for many multidimensional characters.
Okay, I’ll stop blabbing. Happy reading!!