Emma: 3rd Discussion

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Hello everyone! I finally finished Emma two days ago and let me just tell ya … it was a super amusing book to read (but mostly listen to!). I couldn’t help laughing throughout the whole book at all of the characters. I realized that there is SOOOOO much more dialogue in Emma than in the other two books we’ve read so far. Maybe because it’s just Ms. Bates going on and on and on and on and on and on.

And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on….

Okay. I’ll stop 🙂

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  1. Do you like Emma? Is it necessary to like the heroine to appreciate the character or the novel?
  2. Two characters, Mrs. Elton and Frank Churchill, come into Highbury from the outside and threaten the little community with change. Mr. Knightley likes neither of them. How do you feel about them?
  3. Do you think that Emma would “realize” that she was in love with Knightley still if Harriet hadn’t brought up the fact that she was in love with him first?
  4. Early in the book, Emma tells Harriet she doesn’t plan to marry. But the other women all embody, in one way or another, the serious economic consequences of staying single. The book is filled with women at risk. Discuss: Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax, Mrs. Elton, Harriet Smith, Miss Taylor.
  5. Do you think that Emma and Knightley will “last” as a couple together? Explain your reasoning. How well do you think they fit/don’t fit together?
  6. If you were to choose a man from this novel to court, who would you pick? Age aside, who’s personality and character would you like the most, enough to court them?
  7. Tell us some random thoughts you had while going through this book. What’s your favorite adaptation of this novel?
  8. We’ve all read (and most of us think) that people dislike Emma a lot. Is there something that you like about Emma? Did you still enjoy the book? If Emma were different in this novel, would you like it more?
  9. How did you like Emma in comparison to the other two books we’ve read so far? 
  10. Who was your favorite match in the book? Your least favorite? What about least suited? Most suited? Explain!!
  11. What did you think about this business about Emma’s harsh words directed to Ms. Bates on their outing?

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You may answer as many questions as you like or just run with your thoughts!

THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME ON ANOTHER MONTH OF JABBR! I’ll be sure to email you the next book along with the reading schedule and such tomorrow or Saturday! Happy reading and I’ll see you all again in May (hopefully!).

Good luck!

Comment away!

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16 thoughts on “Emma: 3rd Discussion

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ok so I’ve finally finished 😊 starting with Q1. I didn’t like Emma very much to begin with but by the end of the book she had grown on me and i think it is because she had grown as a character. She has become a better person and I think that makes her easier to like

    Q5. I do believe that they will last as a couple as they know everything there is to know about each other good and bad. They may argue at times like any couple however this will only strengthen them rather than drive them apart.

    Q7. I’ve only seen one adaptation of Emma, it has Johnny Lee Miller as Knightley and it was really very good. Only 4 episodes however they did cover quite a bit in those including all the important bits. Michael Gambon was Mr Woodhouse and he was fantastic and very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chanda says:

      I think that they will last too! They have argued and fought and have spent so much time together that they truly know what the other person is like. Plus Mr. Knightley is willing to leave his home and move in with Emma and her father. He knows it’s not going to be easy but he does it for Emma’s happiness.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. spines in a line says:

    Q7 I’ve only seen a bit of the Youtube adaptation so I didn’t know much of this story going in. I felt in the dark for what was going to happen in the novel and really didn’t expect much of the drama. I felt that this book was a lot slower than our previous reads and most of the big reveals didn’t come until the third volume. There wasn’t a lot that was moving the story forward in the first two volumes.


    • spines in a line says:

      With more on random thoughts of the novel, I did find that there was much more dialogue in this one but I thought it was presented really strangely. It would almost be paraphrased even though it was (almost) a direct quote, like “She really enjoys being part of this book club as she likes meeting new people in the book community” where she is I. It didn’t make reading it all that difficult but it was a bit of an adjustment when I thought at first that the speaker was talking about someone else rather than themselves

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chanda says:

        Austen used a ton of Free Indirect Discourse throughout Emma. It goes from inside Emma’s mind to a narrator and back into Emma’s mind. We haven’t really seen it in the other novels yet, but Emma is full of it.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. spines in a line says:

    Q1 So I definitely saw that Emma’s character grew kinda but not enough for me to like her. When she’s thinking on the harm she’s done to Harriet, she still never really seems sorry. She sends her away and while she feels guilty, she still can’t get past Harriet’s standing and believes a match of her and Knightley would almost be worse than what Emma has done. I don’t find her apologetic and her feelings of superiority have not changed at all. I actually found it really surprising when the editor’s note of the version I’m reading talked about how Emma does a full reversal. To me, she’s the same girl, just feeling more guilty and less likely (possibly?) to interfere in others’ lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chanda says:

      I completely agree! I also think it’s weird that now Jane Fairfax and Emma are suddenly BFF’s or would be if Jane was staying. Emma didn’t like her the entire book and then went: “Oh wait! I do like you!” To me it felt like Austen was trying to make everyone realize that Emma did change, but she really didn’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. spines in a line says:

    Q5 I think Emma and Knightley will last. They clearly care about each other a lot and they’ve spent a lot of time in each other’s company, putting up with the other’s quirks, so I think they’ll find married life little adjustment.

    I was weirded out by the one part where Knightley says he has loved her since she was 13. I get that there were age gaps in this time but the fact that Knightley was pretty much an adult and watching her grow up is like huge warning flags!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thereadingrebel says:

      It was a different time period. 40 year olds married 16 year olds. He started falling in love with her at that age but didn’t even see it probablely for years. First cousins married and it was legal. It is hard for us to understand things like at as we live in a time were that is either not legal or taboo. Knightley never acted on his feelings for her until she was 21.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Chanda says:

    Q11. I think that Emma insulting Miss Bates is one of the hardest scenes to read in any of Austen’s novels. I think we can all understand why she did it (clearly hurt by what the Elton’s say), but she should know better. It really shows how young she is because she doesn’t know how to hold her tongue.

    Q7. The only adaptation I have watched is the one with Gwyneth Paltrow. It is not super accurate, but Jeremy North as Mr. Knightley makes me so happy!

    Q10. I think that we need to talk about Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax. How on Earthy could Jane put up with Frank? She had to watch him flirt incessantly with Emma and act like she didn’t care, There is so much strangeness that surrounds that relationship. I’m with Mr. Knightley that Frank Churchill is still an ass and will always be one!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. thereadingrebel says:

    Emma has always been my least favorite Austen. It is mainly because of the heroine. She just isn’t very likeable. How snobbish she is and how she thinks she can do no wrong are so annoying. Plus I feel like Mr. Knightley and Emma romance is just not as great as Elizabeth and Darcy or even IMO Edward and Elinor.

    I also don’t know how Jane Fairfax could ever fall in love with Frank Churchill. I wish so badly that Jane was the heroine and not Emma. She seems more like a Austen heroine then Emma.


  7. thereadingrebel says:

    I also don’t feel that Emma grow at all doing the book. She is still the spoiled snobbish meddlesome character she was in the beginning. Jane Austen says she has changed but I don’t see any of it. I hated how she froze out Harriet because she was in love with Knightley and it was really all Emma’s fault that she would have even looked at Knightley as a love interest.


  8. thereadingrebel says:

    Miss Bates is very talkative and ridiculous. But she is such a kind person and is so happy. I can’t help but love and laugh at her.

    Mr. Woodhouse I find even funnier then Miss Bates. He is such a great character. his hatred of marriage and thinking everyone is going to get ill and how he is ill. Isabelle seems a lot like him.


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