Monday, October 27, 2008

My Emma Within

At last! I was able to finish and post this entry (after a month of leaving it as a draft) as part of the Jane Austen Book Club spearheaded by witsandnuts.

I thought of "My Emma within" as a very fitting title of this entry for two reasons: First, I'll put into words my perspective of Emma. How I have understood her thoughts
and actions (though I perceived her to do things the other way around) and Second how I have seen a bit and piece of Emma on my own thoughts and actions then and now(this part is patterned after "the child within" concept.)

With the predictable plot (the almost never-ending match-making) and the irritating attitude (and plot) of Emma, here are what I have observed:

She is respectful. At the first part of the novel, it was explicitely mentioned that Emma gives high regard to Mrs. Weston,her governess since chilhood. Emmma listens to and considers Mrs. Weston's thoughts and pieces of advice, not to mention how courteous she is to her teacher. The kind of relationship Emma has with her father is also something to look upon. Her respect towards her father is always there. She thinks about her father's possible reaction and health condition before making certain decisions.

Emma is outspoken and stands on her beliefs. It can be noted from the onset of the novel that Emma speaks her mind and have the tendency to end up with an argument; not because she likes to argue but because she wants her side or position on a particular issue be heard and understood. If she believe in something she will stand on it until it was proven very unlikely and really distasteful. Emma was also characterize to be the type of person to accept criticisms (but ofcourse her realizations comes days after the occurence of some heated debate).

She admits mistakes. This is the hardest thing to do. One thing which I like about Emma is her will to admit her mistakes. She may not voice it out at once, but in a subtle and in the most Emma-like way she was able to acknowledge her shortcomings. But this same trait makes her also irritating.

A certified match-maker. Mr. Elton, Mr. Churchill,and Mr. Knightley (and never Mr. Martin)are the three men whom she match-make with Harriet, the daughter of nobody (in the end was said to be a merchant) whom she have taken into her wings. But then, despite Emma's schemes, she failed to arrange a marriage or even just a couple out of the mentioned gentlemen. The first married Augusta, the second was secretly engaged with Jane fairfax, and latter was actually in love with Emma. What may have made her fail with her match-making was her blindness regarding Harriet's real love interest and her intent focus on social status that equals Harriet (financial and social status are for her contributing factor to a possible pairing/match-making).

Love makes the world go round but-not-for-me attitude. Emma delights in match-making but vowed never to marry---her reason was her father's health (what a crap, right?). But this belief or attitude was not meant to last because jealousy of Harriet (who assume that she got the affection of Mr. Knightley). She realized that she love Mr. George Knightley since she hardly determine when.

I was bale to relate with the story, specially with Emma, because I saw some part of me in her. I labeled these similarities as My Emma-like ways:
* Like Emma, I have great respect and regard to my educators and mentors. I value their role in making me the way I am now.

* I also speak my mind (and actually tries very hard to think hard first before I speak) and stand on my beliefs (I sometimes end up making enemies).

* Emma's joys and struggles were confined in a small place, to Highbury. She stayed in Highbury by choice (despite her wealth). I also have few travel opportunities, but it is due to to financial constriants.

* Match-making is also my strong point. It makes me jolly whenever I can pair my assumed well-suited friends with each other (but only a few end up as couples). Honestly, I also have some factors to consider before I even act on matching two of my friends or acquaintances. I scrutinize if they have complementing triats. (hehehe) Oopps, here is a BIG BUT--- I hate it when I am the one who is being matched. *grrr* (hehehe)

"... no man can be a good judge of the comfort a woman feels in the society of one of her own sex after being used to it all her life" – Mrs. Weston

"Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief." – Mr. Knightley

"It was foolish, it take active part in bringing any two people together. It was adventuring too far, assuming too much, making light of what ought to be serious- a trick of what ought to be simple." -Emma’s realization

"There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person." – Frank Churchill (Oh my! should I start being less reserved to attract attention and affection?)

"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart." – Emma to Harriet

This novel made me ponder three things: use of wit and tenderness of the heart, respect, and sincerity.


witsandnuts said...

Hi! I'm amazed with the details you put in for Emma. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. =)

I've updated the round up here: