Is Emma a Likeable Character? Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of whether Emma is a likeable character in the novel "Emma" by Jane Austen.
# 151139 | 1,769 words | 1 source | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 23, 2012 in Literature (English)

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The paper discusses Emma as an interesting and complex character who can be quite unlikable, especially when she meddles in the affairs of others and does not recognize the danger of that meddling, she looks down at the lower social classes and forms quick opinions of others. However, the paper considers Emma a likable character in light of the fact that she does grow up, she can take responsibility for her actions, she is charming and witty, she has the best interests of those around her at heart and she is finally ready for true love.

From the Paper:

"Emma also ignores evidence around her, and tends not to understand the results of her actions, which makes her seem rather shallow and naive. She uses her class to break up the romance between Mr. Martin and Harriet, showing that she does not understand these two people at all, while she prides herself that she does. She says, "'Indeed, Harriet, it would have been a severe pang to lose you; but it must have been. You would have thrown yourself out of all good society. I must have given you up'" (Jane Austen 48). This illustrates what a snob she is, but it shows how she can be quite callous and even rude at times, certainly things that do not endear her to others.
"Emma forms quick opinions of others, too, like the insufferable Mrs. Elton. Once she makes up her mind she is not easily swayed, and that is one reason her matchmaking is so ineffective. She sees only what she wants to see, not the truth. That is one reason she is so often surprised when men say they love her. She really does not understand the nature of people. This makes for some funny results in the book, but it makes her more vulnerable, and that makes her a more likeable character in some ways."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Jane Austen. Emma. Ed. James Kinsley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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