Monday, July 13, 2009

"Emma" by Jane Austen

Summary: Emma Woodhouse, a spunky and well-off young woman, gets herself into trouble when she seeks to set up her poor friend Harriet with Mr. Elton. Emma navigates the social world in which she lives while discovering people are not always what you think them to be.

Musings: Although I've seen Clueless, I was not very familiar with Emma. However, since I finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so recently, I did feel I was already in the proper mindset to appreciate Emma and already know what was going to happen.

Austen's books run along the same themes, and Emma is no different. Although Emma makes many mistakes, she is endearing, and the reader cheers for her attachment to Mr. Knightley, even if he is quite a bit older. Some of the topics in the book get tiresome, such as the constant inquiries into characters' health. I thought the obsession a product of Austen's time period, but I'm currently at a summer institute, and I observed that most of the participants open morning welcomes with health inquiries. So I guess we're not so different after all.

Emma's father, Mr. Woodhouse, in reality would probably be the most annoying and tiresome person who ever existed, but in Austen's book he is absolutely hilarious.

There is nothing very shocking or surprising about the book. Most characters are, indeed, kindly, marriages ensure, and proper class relations are maintained. Perhaps its lasting impression on me was my tendency to go around musing on "so-and-so's temperament" and "so-and-so's manners" whenever I put the book down.

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