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How far do the attitudes expressed in Emma belong merely to Jane Austins time and how far are they important to ours as well Jane Austins novel Emma was ahead of its time when it was first published in 1816 In this novel we are presented with the headstrong woman Emma who has an opinionated view on her closed life In the novel there are four key subject areas Class money marriage and the position of women I will be using these and discussing not only how they were relevant in Jane Austins time but how they have still apply to todays modern world As we the readers can see in Emma there is a complex class system that is present in this small group the image and connections that a person had were more important than their personality In particular this is the case for the lead character Emma Throughout most of the book Emma snobbishly looks down on all the people below her in the social hierarchy In Chapter 4 Emma displays one of her worst points where she is assuming that because Mr Martin is of a very low class he would be illiterate and does not even deserve a glance from Emma In this situation it also shows that her snobbish nature is even directed towards the people who deserve her help It is only through her charity work as a patron that she can bring herself to have any contact with the lower classes Emmas snobbishness is also displayed in later chapters in the novel for example where she doesnt like associating with Mrs and Miss Bates believing this will lower her social standing all the horror of being in danger of falling with the second rate and third rate of Highbury and how she treats the Coles when she wants to decline their dinner invitation to serve as a social punishment for them over stepping their rank Conversely
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