Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Emma is a novel about youth through self-knowledge. Discuss. Essay
Emma is a novel about youth through self-knowledge. Discuss. The learning processes that are experienced through youth often lead to greater self-knowledge. This idea is readily demonstrated in Jane AustenÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"EmmaÃ¢â¬ where the protagonist is established as an esteemed individual, living in the comfort and indulgence consequent of the limitations of her rural society. It is only when Emma opens herself to new experiences that she matures from one who lacks self-knowledge to a fulfilment of self-knowledge. The various events that occur ultimately challenge her viewpoint of the world she lives in. EmmaÃ¢â¬â¢s dealings with befriending and matchmaking Harriet and her misinterpretation of clues given by Mr Elton and Frank Churchill are events which lead her to first lose confidence in her judgement and which later propels her to greater self-knowledge. Mr Knightley is a key figure in her process of change, leading her to a greater acceptance of othersÃ¢â¬â¢ viewpoints. At the beginning of AustenÃ¢â¬â¢s novel, Emma Woodhouse is established as the central character of the novel who suffers from a lack of good judgement and awareness of the world she lives in. Austen establishes this idea through her opening sentence, conveying the idea that Emma is Ã¢â¬Å"handsome, clever, and richÃ¢â¬ . The responder is given the impression that she thinks rather too well of herself as she has Ã¢â¬Å"been mistress of his house from a very early periodÃ¢â¬ . We are told that she has been spoiled and indulged by Ã¢â¬Å"a most affectionate, indulgent fatherÃ¢â¬ and governess whose Ã¢â¬Å"shadow of authority being now long passed awayÃ¢â¬ . The praise that Emma receives from Mr Woodhouse, Mrs Weston and Mr Knightley is warm acknowledgement of her education and accomplishments but is... ...tain self-knowledge. The various events that occur during the course of the novel develop Emma into a rounded individual who possesses a wealth of self-knowledge. This was not achieved without the aid of new experiences that penetrated the stability in her life, largely through the limitations presented by Highbury society. EmmaÃ¢â¬â¢s overconfidence in her own judgement and her misinterpretation of clues given by Mr Elton and Frank Churchill, are important learning processes in EmmaÃ¢â¬â¢s education. With the good judgement of Mr Knightley and her own self scrutiny, Emma is provided with the impetus to improve on her faults. Her growth to maturity and correct judgement ultimately leads to an attainment of greater self-knowledge. In balance, it can be seen through the character of Emma Woodhouse that Ã¢â¬Å"EmmaÃ¢â¬ is blatantly a novel about youth through self-knowledge.