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Emma Explore Emmas lack of awareness of relationships and how it is at odds with the readers perception In Jane Austens Emma the eponymous heroine is handsome clever and rich but she also suffers from arrogance and self deception With the good judgment of Mr Knightley and her own self scrutiny Emma experiences a movement of psyche from arrogance and vanity through the humiliation of self knowledge to clarity of judgment and fulfillment in marriage The tone of the novel and the episodes where Emma is self deceived progresses from the light comedy of Mr Eltons gallantry to the somber depression of Emmas belief that she has ruined her own chances of happiness by bringing Mr Knightley and Harriet together Although at times the reader is able to laugh at her mistakes as she moves slowly and uncertainly to self knowledge and maturity the reader like Mr Knightley comes to take her seriously Serious moral and social issues are dealt with in the novel issues which directly concern and effect Emma While we may be put off by her mistakes and flights of illogical fancy these are also the very qualities which endear her to us Emma believes that a satisfactory partnership is formed between couples of equal social and financial status It is this overriding concern with social suitability of alliance which dictates the narrative of the plot and humour Emma is a victim of her own snobbery and as a reader we witness as she attempts to force a series of imaginary partnerships into reality whilst at the same time completely ignoring her own heart Perhaps the only character in the novel who takes Emma seriously is Mr Knightley As the moral centre of the book he is an arbiter of good sense and judgment and Emmas moral tutor He has Emmas interests at heart and a genuine concern about her moral development Not blinded by egotism or vanity
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