Emma. by Jane Austen

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Emma, first published in December 1816, was the fifth novel of the famous author, Jane Austen. This book was published on Austen’s 40th birthday and was one of her last books to ever be published. The setting of the novel Emma is takes place in England, London, Highbury and Randalls. This book is set in the early 1800’s. Emma’s major conflict is her vanity and confronting her own feelings. Emma, a 21 year old lady, has much to learn about love, life, and manners. She often is found meddling in others relationships because she is not involved in any of her own. When she does this, she struggles to identify her own feelings, and easily misunderstands those around her; often causing harm to her dearest friends.

After many attempts of matchmaking, some successful some not, Emma realizes that one attempt in particular for two of her close friends is terribly wrong. During her attempt to match make her two friends, Emma notices that the man has feelings for her. At a feeble attempt to redirect his feelings and attention Emma mindlessly flirts with another gentleman whom there is no affection shared between them at all. After much turmoil, Emma is confronted, by none other than Mr. Knightly himself. Mr. Knightly, a close family friend and a brother in law to Emma. When Mr. Knightly leaves, Emma finally begins to understand the pain her actions have caused.


I can directly relate to Emma. Similarly to most young woman, Emma’s inexperience in life can sometimes lead to more harm than good. Often, young ladies may focus their days on helping others to avoid identifying what is lacking from their lives. I admire Emma for not becoming defensive to the many times she was given criticism. In Mr. Knightly’s regard; her love and trust for him easily allowed her to acknowledge and change her ways.

The novel Emma drew me in with its wonderfully written characters and especially Emma’s stubborn personality. The setting in the early 1800’s was appealing to me because people were proper in the way they dressed, acted, and spoke. They always had the upmost manners. Plus I just adore their clothing! I would highly recommend this novel because although it is set more than a century ago, the struggle to identify one’s true feelings remains the same today.





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