Jane Austen’s Novel Emma—A Heros Flaw Honors English 10 Essay

755 words - 4 pages

Siddiqui ! 1
Daanya Siddiqui
Mr. Ellis
Honors English 10, Block 7
24 October 2017
A Hero’s Flaw
In Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, she depicts her young and pretty heroine, Emma
Woodhouse, to be the ‘queen’ of Highbury’s social scene. Emma seems to find life quite boring
until she finds Harriet Smith, who she immediately decides to make her protégé. In doing so,
Emma is determined to find her new friend a husband and ultimately agrees upon Mr. Elton. Her
exploits are watched by her good friend, Mr. Knightley. It then comes to her understanding that
she is not a successful matchmaker, as Mr. Elton is unfortunately in love with Emma. The
dashing Frank Churchill then arrives in Highbury. Emma unsuccessfully tries to fall in love with
him, but later concludes that Frank is the perfect man for Harriet, who later confesses her love
for Mr. Knightley. Emma then suddenly realizes that she loves Mr. Knightley. All the romantic
dilemmas are eventually solved and Emma happily marries Mr. Knightley.
In Emma, Jane Austen establishes her heroine’s love interest, Mr. George Knightley, as "a
sensible man" (Austen 31) who is always willing to behave in a gentlemanly fashion. He is a
respected landowner in his late thirties that lives at Donwell Abbey. Austen illustrates Mr.
Knightley to be Emma’s brother-in-law, trusted friend, and a moral compass. This is due to the
fact that Mr. Knightley is "one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and
the only one who ever told her of them" (Austen 32). The polite and civil Mr. Knightley also
exhibits kindness to all of the characters in Austen’s novel as he invites Harriet to dance with him
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to save her from embarrassment. Mr Knightley also encourages Emma to act with graciousness
by reproaching her for the cruel treatment of Miss Bates. He declares that Emma should "secure
[her] compassion” (Austen 351) because Miss Bates’ poverty should elicit sympathy rather than
ridicule. This determines that Mr. Knightley does not have the same traditional notions on class
that Emma does, as he does not assume that all working class people are illiterate and ill
mannered. Throughout Austen’s novel, Mr. Knightley displays integrity and...

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