This book was a part of my syllabus for my MA. I have to admit back then I didn’t read the book properly; there wasn’t much time so I simply went through it. Recently, I decided to read it thoroughly and I did. Emma is the first novel written by Jane Austen that I read. The novel revolves around the titular character Emma Woodhouse who is in a way an unlikely protagonist.
Emma is a person who thinks she has everything that she needs which she does but she believes she doesn’t need love or marriage in her life. Her beliefs are contradictory to her actions. Emma likes to interfere in other people’s love lives; she fancies herself a good matchmaker. When Emma meets Harriet Smith she decides to take Harriet under her wing. While Harriet is younger than Emma she in a way looks up to her.
Mr. Knightley is Emma’s sister Isabelle’s brother-in-law. Mr. Knightley warns Emma of her ways constantly; he is the voice of reason in her life but she never listens to him. I like the relationship between Emma and Mr. Knightley, it’s sort of a will they or won’t they situation which is always fascinating for me. Jane is another character who is the only one Emma envies. Jane is talented, sensible, well-mannered, and a bright girl.
Emma is a different novel in the sense the protagonist is not always likable. Sometimes, you can’t help but feel a little annoyed with her. The way she acts or the decisions she makes made her unlikeable to me at times. It’s because of this that the novel is satisfying in the end. Emma becomes a better person and to an extent realizes her flaws. The growth of Emma’s character is natural and not forced.
Like I said before I liked the relationship between Emma and Mr. Knightley. The way Emma realizes she wants to be with Mr. Knightley is slightly funny but still realistic. As a reader, it’s always a good feeling when there is such a satisfying end to a relationship you root for. The fact that there was a happy ending for Jane and Harriet as well as a bonus for me.
I enjoyed reading this book. The story is light-hearted and engaging with unique and quirky characters. The writing of the novel is flawless; it is witty and amusing. Language-wise this book is not the easiest but not too much; it is easy enough. I was surprised by the fact that a protagonist seemed annoying to me at times, it hardly happens to me. Overall, I think it’s good. A light, fun, and engaging book overall.
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