Emma

Emma -  Elizabeth Klett, Jane Austen 1. Be honest, would you have been annoyed by Mrs Elton just as Emma was?Anna:Yes, she was the most obnoxious character in the book. I think it's funny that she called her husband "Mr. E," but she was really rude in how she addressed the other characters. And poor Jane Fairfax! Of all the women in Highbury who could have became her "protector," it had to be Mrs. Elton!B:Arghh, two words: Barouche Landau! She kept going on and on and on and on! The things she had, her sister. She drove me insane. I felt sorry for anyone that had to keep her company.2. Did you wonder what kind of person Emma would have been, had her mother lived?Anna:It would have been great to have learned a little about Emma's mother, whether she praised Emma up and down like everyone else. Even when Emma drove me crazy, I reminded myself that if everyone is always telling you how wonderful you are, you're likely to have a bit of a swelled head. I'd also love to know how her mother put up with her father's health obsession and desire to stay at home all the time.B:I find it hard answering my own question. As I know nothing about Emma's mother, except that she was good, I really can't say anything. But Emma being Emma I think she would have been pretty much the same as she had a good influence from her governess. Still had her mother lived then her father might have been different and that would have made Emma different too.3. Mr. Knightley has loved Emma for a long time, but is this not a bit creepy? Considering her age then?Anna:The 16-year difference is a bit much for me, but I didn't think their relationship was creepy. Mostly because I don't think Mr. Knightley realizes that he's actually in love with Emma until he fears she'll marry Frank Churchill, and by then she's 21. I guess the way he scolds Emma like he's her father might be a bit odd, but he's the only one who sees Emma's flaws and offers her some guidance. I guess someone needed to tell her, and he's the closest friend she has.Blodeuedd:I did not use to think it was creepy but then he went and said something and I went all euwwwwww! So I will try and forget about that and instead think of them as good friends, as him as an older brother (kind of euww that too). And then as someone who realises that he loves her..when she is old enough. Then the age does not matter anymore.4. Do you think Mr. Knightley and Emma will live happily ever after?Anna:Yes, I do. I think they're good for each other. He's mature and wise enough to balance out the annoying parts of Emma's personality, and I think her youth would be refreshing for him.Blodeuedd:I guess I have to say yes :) This is romance, they should live happily ever after.5. Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax. Is everything perfect in that relationship or not? Did you believe in their love?Anna:Now that's the relationship that worries me! How Frank flirted with Emma right in front of the woman he supposedly loves...I can only imagine how hurt Jane must have been. I don't know if I could've forgiven him for that, but then again, marrying him would save her from a life of service, so it certainly would have been easier to believe that Frank meant well but just messed up. Because you don't see them falling in love, all you see is his bad behavior, it's hard to believe in their love. We just have to hope for the best.Blodeuedd:How many times I read or watch this story I will never ever understand this relationship. I can't see that they love each other. I know they hid it but come on! He flirted shamelessly with Emma, he was mean to Jane when she was around, and not around. How can that be a man in love? And she, no, she is so cold, and she just let him. I think they had been in love, passionately, crazy in love. But it was a passion that will burn out and then they will just be bitter.6. Has Emma truly learned her lesson, or are more matches in the future?Anna:One could only hope. I wonder how she'd act when her children are grown. I'd like to think that Mr. Knightley's love and attention would keep her in line.Blodeuedd.Ha, no, she has more to offer.7. Miss Bates, annoying or not?Anna:I didn't find Miss Bates annoying because I was always laughing at her babbling. Of course, I wasn't subjected to an entire afternoon of her chattering. Mostly, I felt sorry for her. She really needed a friend, someone to talk to and listen to her, especially with her mother so old and no husband or children. And that comment Emma made to her at the picnic...poor Miss Bates!Blodeuedd:I did not use to think it but then I listened to the audio and it was horrible I tell you. She kept going on about trivial things and changed the subject every few minutes. It drove me crazy. So to listen to her for an extended time, no thank you. I do understand her, and feel sorry for her, but yes I was annoyed by her.Thank you Anna!Now go to Anna's blog for the restDiary of an EccentricPart 2here does Emma rank among the Jane Austen novels you’ve read?Blodeuedd: This is only my third Austen novel. And I do find it too hard to rank those I have read, I know the stories too well. I’d just say it’s one of her better novels, but then they are all good. Anna: I’ve read all six of Austen’s novels, and it is difficult to rank them, especially my favorites. Emma definitely is in the top three, though I suspect that whether Emma, Pride and Prejudice, or Persuasion is my favorite will depend on my mood at the time I am asked.What did you think of Mr. Knightley? Is he as appealing to you as Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth?Blodeuedd: Mr. Knightley does have another sort of appeal than Darcy or Wentworth, but then all Austen’s men have their good sides and their bad sides. And I do like Knightley, there is just something calm over him, and he is waiting for her to see him. I have to like him, as much as her other men.Anna: That’s true, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. What I liked best about Mr. Knightley is that, unlike Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth, you never wonder about him. You know from the very start that he is a perfect gentlemen, one of the best men with whom Emma will ever be acquainted. He may be quick to point out Emma’s faults, but when he calls Emma out on something, he’s right.Did you like Emma as a person?Blodeuedd: I do like her too. Sure she should think before acting, but she does not mean bad. The things she sometimes says, well to be honest, I would think them too. So I do not find any faults in her. I guess I see a little of myself in her at times.Anna: For the first quarter of the book, I thought there was no way I was ever going to like her, but you’re right, she means well, and she grew on me after awhile. She appears to have learned many lessons from her meddling, so there is hope for her.What did you think of the secondary characters, Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Bates, Frank Churchill, in particular?Blodeuedd: Mr. Woodhouse, there I do feel sorry for Emma. His constant fear of things, it would be so tiresome. And he is not letting her leave, even if she wants to be there, think of the things she is missing because of how he is. He is not letting go.Miss Bates, she does mean well too, but after listening to the audio I am more annoyed than ever. There it truly showed how it would be to listen to her.Frank Churchill is an ass, there is no other way to put it. He did wrong by Emma and well he is an ass.Anna: I agree about Mr. Woodhouse and feeling sorry for Emma. She can’t even marry without feeling guilty for leaving him. On one hand, he’s ridiculously funny, but on the other, he’s quite sad. Miss Bates was annoying, but I also pitied her. She really needed a friend, I think, and Emma shouldn’t have insulted her like that. Frank Churchill…you’re right, he’s an ass, but I don’t think he’s as bad as the villains in other Austen novels.What did you think of the pairing of Emma and Mr. Knightley?Blodeuedd: It’s not a couple I would have guessed for, ok I would have guessed since it’s obvious, but you get the point. They are friends, so in that way they are suited. They know each other, but do I believe there is a burning passion? No, not really.Anna: There doesn’t seem to be a burning passion, I agree, but I think they are well matched. Mr. Knightley is older and wiser, which Emma needs, and she will certainly add some excitement to his life. I think it’s romantic in a way that no matter what Emma did wrong, Mr. Knightley couldn’t help but love her. I think we all need someone like that, to love us despite our flaws.Did any parts of the story surprise you?Blodeuedd: I can’t say it did.Anna: I agree, though I was a bit surprised by how the romantic declarations are made in dialogue, compared to Persuasion, where Anne reads Wentworth’s letter but when they walk together and discuss their love for one another, it sort of happens off the pages.Did you have a favorite scene or passage?Blodeuedd: I do like when he goes all “badly done Emma!” on her. That passage hurts and I feel so sorry for her. When listening if felt like he was yelling at me. Poor Emma.Anna: I did feel a little sorry for her, but Mr. Knightley was right. I loved when Mr. Knightley asks Harriet to dance when Mr. Elton refuses to dance with her. That was so sweet, as well as the right thing to do.The description on my copy of the book says Emma is often considered Austen’s most flawless novel. Do you agree or disagree?Blodeuedd: It is good, so for that yes it would seem flawless. But what makes it more flawless than her other books?Anna: That’s a good question, wish I knew! I think her handling of the characters and various plots was flawless for sure.Have you seen any movie adaptations of Emma? How did they compare to the book?Blodeuedd: I have seen…well a lot. Some good, some not as good, but I enjoy them, and I would say they are as good as the book sometimes. That is horrible to say, but I just love Austen movies. A lot. I am not going to say how much, but they can be so good.Anna: I’ve only seen the Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam version from 1996, but I thought it was well done. He was a great Mr. Knightley, in my opinion. I watched it the day I finished the book. I know what you mean about loving the movie adaptions. They bring the characters and the time period to life.