Thursday, January 27, 2011

Emma



I am very much obliged to you all for examining my writings as I am sure you could be otherwise engaged. We had a most enjoyable evening last discussing Emma at the book club meeting! Everyone was very amiable and in high spirits. 
All of us in our Regency inspired clothes
My very old version of all six of Jane's main novels.

I came across this joke which I found extremely diverting about what  Miss Bates answering machine message would be:
 

"It's so obliging of you to call, but then we have so many obliging friends that we are truly grateful, not that we wouldn't be grateful just for our health, but all these friends are so kind, and I know that you will forgive us for not being here when you called, except that my mother might be in but she can't answer the phone because she's deaf you know, not that she has anything else to disturb her, in fact she's remarkably healthy for her age, and she would answer but she probably hasn't heard the bell, so I'm sure you won't mind, and where was I? Oh yes, if you'd be so good as to leave your message just after the beep, that's the fourth long beep, not the first one, there are three short beeps and then a long one, that's the one to speak after, otherwise the machine won't record your message and we'd be ever so sad if we didn't receive it because I'm sure that it's very interesting, and I will call you just as soon as I get in ..."


There is nothing like reading it from an antique copy, it lends something special to the experience!
 The evening was so enjoyable with lots of lively discussion on the characters in Jane Austen's Emma. I felt like I was right at home talking about some of my very good friends. We started off talking about which Emma character we'd like to be and which was our favorite. Everyone agreed that Mr. Knightly was one of the favorite characters, however most would like to be Jane Fairfax and some Emma.
Which was your favorite?
A big topic of discussion was whether we actually liked Emma. She is very different than the main characters in Austen's other novels. About Emma, Jane Austen famously said, "I'm going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like. " I think in some ways, perhaps Jane wishes she could have had Emma's life. 

What do you think of Emma?


Emma is the character that grows on you throughout the book but can be hard to like at first. There were moments where I didn't love her her and hated how much she felt superior to those around her especially those not so fortunate as herself. However she is not above recognizing her flaws especially when they are pointed out by Mr. Knightly. We all agreed that when you see her feeling bad for mistakes she made and wanting to improve herself, we can't help but like her.


"Austen makes an unusual choice by selecting as her main character the most privileged woman in the book, the woman with "little to distress or vex her." The Jane Fairfax story line (which W.J. Harvey has called the "shadow novel-within-the-novel") has more traditional elements of tension and drama than Emma's story. Austen's own publisher traitorously said of Emma, "it wants incident and romance." " http://us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/emma.html

Do you agree? Would you have rather read about Jane? 
A theme in every Austen story line is the classes of society and how they work.  In Emma, I thought it was very interesting how she talks about being single and never marrying, which seems quite opposite to the other stories where it was almost a necessary to marry. The difference is: Emma is rich. She will inherit 30,000 pounds a year! Emma states it very clearly to Harriet in chapter 10, "Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable, old maid! the proper sport of boys and girls; but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else."
I thought it was interesting how she looked down upon Mr. Elton but then was upset that he thought himself above Harriet. 
"But—that he should talk of encouragement, should consider her as aware of his views, accepting his attentions, meaning (in short), to marry him!—should suppose himself her equal in connection or mind!—look down upon her friend, so well understanding the gradations of rank below him, and be so blind to what rose above, as to fancy himself shewing no presumption in addressing her!—It was most provoking."
 


My sister did all our hair and I thought it turned out very authentic!
This was supposed to the serious one but a few smiles crept in

I had so much fun dressing up, besides not being able to breathe!!

Ready for tea and stimulating conversation

I'd love to hear your thoughts and discussion on Emma!

6 comments:

  1. Great post! These pictures turned out good, too - so glad you came upon that little vintage shop.

    And I'm loving your blog, that giant calzone sure inspired me to get creative in the kitchen. So is Eric a pretty adventurous eater? Or do you have a hard time getting him
    to eat new things?

    Nikki

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  2. Eric is NOT into adventures when it comes to eating. I have him at least try one bite but it is challenging for me! How do you get your kids to try new things? Are they picky eaters?

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  3. It has been a while since I read Emma, but it is one of my favorites. Everyone looks so nice in your pictures. I would love to do this.
    Martha looks lovely too!

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  4. Oh, this looks like such a fun evening!

    ~Marianne

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  5. That yellow gown is lovely. It reminds me of a costume from a June Allyson movie- Good News, maybe?
    -Katie

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