Women of Jane Austen (Part 3)

Emma

“Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love ; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.”

Emma as a central character is probably one of the most vain and stubborn characters created By Jane Austen. Emma is beautiful, happy but the fact that she possesses “the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself” becomes a cause of concern as the events unfold.

Deluded that she is a good match-maker, she starts meddling into lives of those around her. Both Harriet and Jane suffer in some way because of this meddling of hers. Emma misreads people’s behaviour and thus, doesn’t realise that what she is devising will only hurt those involved.

Austen has created a judgemental character full of self-love but her writing is such that at no point can one hate Emma. People will find many vices in her but her nature will also find sympathy. Emma is never trying to hurt anyone. She is just a bad judge of other people’s feelings and actions and that creates all the confusion for others.

“You must be the best judge of your own happiness.”

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