Emma: 2nd Discussion

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WELCOME TO THE 2nd DISCUSSION!

Forgive me again, I’ve been trying to keep up with work and I didn’t get around to posting the second discussion until now! Thank you so  much for your patience and understanding, I really appreciate it. SO MUCH. 🙂

Thank you also for sticking out with me on the discussions! Maybe this weekend I’ll be able to get around to commenting and discussing WITH you guys finally haha. Have a wonderful rest of your day and week!!

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Mrs. Elton characterizes Emma as having “lived so secluded a life” (p. 235). Is there truth to her insult? Explain.
  2. Mrs. Elton officiously professes that she will help advance Jane Fairfax, to “bring her forward” (p. 241). How different is her motivation, if at all, from Emma’s vow to “improve” Harriet Smith?
  3. What does Mr. Weston mean when he says of Mrs. Churchill, “She was nobody when he married her, barely the daughter of a gentleman; but ever since her being turned into a Churchill, she has out-Churchilled them all . . .“ (p. 265). How might Mr. Weston’s description give a voice to Austen’s ideas about class?
  4. Why does Miss Bates talk so much? Compare and contrast two compulsive talkers—Miss Bates and Mrs. Elton.
  5. If each character were to have a theme song or favorite song, what do you think it would be?
  6. We are finally introduced to Frank Churchill. What do you think of him? Do you think he could be a match for Emma? Why/why not?
  7. Same question as #6 but for Jane Fairfax. What do you think of her? 
  8. Do you think Emma is different in this volume than in the first one? How so? Do you think she really will ever change completely or learn?
  9. Did anything confuse you or you have questions about that you’d like to discuss here?
  10. Tell us your feelings about some of the other characters.

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You may answer as many questions as you like or just run with your thoughts! Either way, I’m looking forward to reading what you thought of Volume 2!

Good luck!

Comment away!

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14 thoughts on “Emma: 2nd Discussion

  1. spines in a line says:

    Q2 I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about these characters. I don’t fully understand Emma’s motivations but I do think she differs from Mrs. Elton here.

    Btw I think Mrs. Elton is probably my least favourite Austen character! She is so annoying!

    Anyways back to the question, I think Mrs. Elton is trying to take Jane under her wing purely to make herself look better. She likely recognizes the high regard that everyone holds for Jane and wants some of that for herself, so by taking this mission on I think she hopes to raise her own image and status.

    With Emma, I’m really not sure what her real motivations are. Maybe it’s connected to her feelings around Jane? Everyone thinks she and Jane should be great friends and Emma seems determined to avoid this so maybe this is her way of replacing Jane. She can have Harriet as a close friend instead, but she still wants to “improve” her to be more on the same social standing as Emma and Jane.

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    • Chanda says:

      I agree that Mrs Elton is doing it to make herself look better, but I think that Emmis doing it because she is bored. She had Mrs Westin and now she has no one, it’s just herself and her father so she gets bored. I do think that she genuinely cares about Harriet, and she does think that Harriet could make a good marriage, but she really did her a disservice when she persuaded her to not marry Robert Martin.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. spines in a line says:

    Q4 You ask great questions, making me think of the why behind everything in this story!

    Mrs. Elton I think it’s much easier to understand why she talks so much. She wants to be noticed and so she does everything in her power to make herself the center of attention at all times. And then of course when she is talking, it’s to speak about herself and exaggerate her standing back home (ugh!).

    But why does Miss Bates speak so much? I really don’t get the impression that she does it to gain anything but if she was, maybe it’s because she doesn’t have that standing that she still tries to be included in conversation? And if she’s talking that much, she certainly leads the convo!
    But really, Miss Bates seems so sweet that to me her excessive talking just seemed to be her friendliness taking it to extremes. I don’t know that there’s really a purpose to her talking beyond that.

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  3. Kim P. says:

    Question 2 is so good! I never really noticed the similarities of Mrs. E. and Emma both giving attention to someone who is of a lower social standing. I think Emma just needs a project and that she truly intends to be a friend to Harriet. Mrs. E. on the other hand seems to be in it for herself. I think she wants to help Jane just for the recognition it would bring her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim P. says:

    Question 6, Frank Churchill reminds me of George Wickham! He always seems pleasing to everyone and he tells Emma exactly what she wants to hear in regards to Jane Fairfax.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sydney K says:

        I would have to say though that the main difference, is that Frank never says anything negative. He placates Emma while staying as impartial as he can (at least the impression i got from the bit i read) where as Wickham was all too happy to spread negative words.

        While they seem to share traits, I’m not sure if I would demean Frank low enough to be in true standing with Wickham.

        Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        That’s right, though he is quick to side with Emma with any of her gossipy claims. I agree he doesn’t seem to be causing trouble like Wickham but his being so eager to please gave me a bad impression of his character

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    • Chanda says:

      I think they bring out the worst qualities in each other. Frank and Emma gossip and just do silly thing together. They never seem to just talk about Jane the entire time. I have read Emma before but this time around I really found that they were ridiculously annoying together.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. spines in a line says:

    Q6 I know that the set-up of a handsome young man has meant really bad news in the past Austen books we’ve read but I’m still holding out that Frank is good. Knightley not liking him doesn’t bode well but I don’t get the impression that Frank is bad. Maybe spoiled or something but I’m really hoping he doesn’t turn out to be another Wickham or Willoughby, especially since we seem to have gotten that already in Mr. Elton.

    I cautiously like him so far. He gets on really easily with everyone and I like that he gets on with Mrs. Weston though it feels a bit superficial. I think he has to do more for her than spend some time with her with all the worrying she’s done over him.

    Still, it feels like something’s just under the surface with him but I refuse to think he’s as bad as Knightley suspects!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sydney K says:

      From the impressions that I was getting, I do agree that of all of them, Elton is more similar to Wickham/Willoughby because he cares more about climbing socially & gaining wealth than love.

      I didn’t get any kind of negative or positive feeling form Frank. But i cant’ help but wonder what is coloruing Knightley’s dislike of him, when everyone else in the town has become fond of him.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sydney K says:

    I will try to answer what I can, but I have a feeling I will be DNFing this book at about half way through Volume 2. Wish i could go on, but this story just doesn’t grab me.
    I’ve yet to meet Mrs. Elton so i’ll skip her questions.

    Q4- I’m not sure why Miss Bates talks soo much, unless she just feels lonely when just with her mother. SO when she’s around others, it all just comes out. But OMG girl Just Can it already.

    Q5- Hmm, Emma’s Themesong would be Ten Minutes ago form Cinderella, bc she just takes seconds to start pairing people.

    Q8- I dont really know if Emma will ever change because she’s already a Young adult. This isn’t faults of teenage years. She is in her 20s, it’s not as cute to be so naive and tunnel-visioned in the world.

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    • spines in a line says:

      I don’t blame you for wanting to DNF. I feel the same way in that the story really didn’t feel like it had much going for it. It feels like Austen is leaving so much for Volume 3 and there’s not enough in the first two parts to keep our interest

      Like

    • Chanda says:

      I think that Emma is the hardest Austen novel to get through. It’s exceptionally hard when you don’t like the heroine and I think we can all agree that Emma is not likeable!

      Like

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