“Emma”,Jane Austen
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  • Elton's declaration of love comes as a total surprise to Emma
  • Having followed Emma's advice without question, she had grown to believe that she was in love with Mr

    • by Lorianna
      all reviews
      When the young gentlewoman Emma Woodhouse sees her governess marry a nice man named Mr. Weston, she flatters herself that she has arranged this match, subtly leading the two people to become interested in each other. Inspired by this success, Emma takes up matchmaking as a hobby. She thinks she is an expert in matrimonial affairs, she knows people and knows who is good for who. Her neighbor and a long time family friend Mr.

      Knightley disapproves of this, he tries to persuade Emma not to meddle into other people’s life, but she does not listen. She does not see this as meddling but a service to her friends. One of these friends is Harriet, a pretty and rather naïve poor girl whom Emma takes under her wing. Harriet receives a marriage proposal from Martin, a


      merchant’s son whom she seems to like, but Emma thinks that Martin is not good enough for Harriet.

      Emma believes that by being Harriet’s friend and benefactress she has raised her to a more genteel position, and Harriet therefore deserves a better match. She influences the girl to refuse Martin and turn her eyes at Mr. Elton, the preacher, instead. Emma thinks that Harriet and Mr.

      Elton will be a perfect couple and begins her work to bring them together. She arranges “accidental” meetings in town, invites Mr. Elton to her house when Harriet is there as well, praises the girl to him, and so on. Mr.

      Elton seems to be very responsive, he clearly enjoys coming and spending time with the two young women. The shock comes when it turns out that it is Emma,


      • not Harriet, that he is in love with!

        Mr. Elton’s declaration of love comes as a total surprise to Emma. She refuses him.

        As a means to overcome her rejection, the preacher goes and marries somebody else. Harriet is devastated. Having followed Emma’s advice without question, she had grown to believe that she was in love with Mr. Elton and, seeing his attentions, was expecting a proposal from him.

        Emma is trying to console her friend. A new young man comes to town, Mr. Weston’s (Emma’s governess’s husband) son Frank from the first marriage, and Emma thinks that perhaps he would be the one to help poor Harriet forget about the preacher. Little does she know that she is not the only one making matches: the Westons are hoping that Frank and Emma will like each

        other.

        The town gossip soon links Emma with Frank as well, but then it turns out that he has been secretly engaged to a lady named Jane Farifax. Emma fears that Harriet will not be able to cope with another blow to her heart, but, to her surprise, Harriet suffers no blow: she was never interested in Frank, she is in love with Mr. Knightley, Emma’s good friend and mentor!

        Emma is longer so sure in her knowledge of people and matchmaking skills. Moreover, it turns out that she did not even know herself very well: now that Harriet says she is interested in Mr.

        Knightley, Emma realizes her own love for him. Things end well. Emma marries Knightley, whose love she had overlooked all this time, and Harriet marries Martin, the young man she liked to begin with.




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