Jane Austen's Emma

933 Words2 Pages

In Jane Austen’s social class and coming of age novel, Emma, the relationships between irony, insight and education are based upon the premise of the character of Emma Woodhouse herself. The persona of Emma is portrayed through her ironic and naive tone as she is perceived as a character that seems to know everything, which brings out the comedic disparities of ironies within the narrative. Emma is seen as a little fish in a larger pond, a subject of manipulating people in order to reflect her own perceptions and judgments. Her education is her moral recognition to love outside her own sheltered fancies and her understandings of her society as a whole.

Within the novel, Jane Austen’s exploits of irony are shown linked throughout Emma’s notions of love and the real within her own society. Emma’s lack of education on the concepts of love is quite evident within her apathy towards Frank Churchill as her opinions are deeply rooted within her own affections, as she states, “Emma continued to entertain no doubt of her being in love. Her ideas only varied as to the how much. At first, she thought it was a good deal; and afterwards, but little. She had great pleasure in hearing Frank Churchill talked of; and for his sake, greater pleasure than ever in seeing Mr. and Mrs. Weston; she was very often thinking of him. But, on the other hand, she could not admit herself to be unhappy, nor, after the first morning, to be less disposed for employment than usual; she was still busy and cheerful; and, pleasing as he was, she could yet imagine him to have faults,” (Austen 264). Emma’s sketch of Harriet is another illustration of irony surrounded by Emma’s arrogance as it does not portray an accurate depiction of Harriet as Emma has altered ...

... middle of paper ...

...ghtley humbles Emma and makes her rethink her rude and insensitive treatment of others.

Author Jane Austen had porttryal of arrogance that existed in upper class society. She uses Emma as a representative of the faults and lack of values of her society. Just as Emma contains these many faults, the upper class society as a whole also contains these many faults. Additionally, in Emma, Austen depicts the distorted views of gentility. Austen depicts her own message of true gentility by creating characters of differing class ranks. Bradbury relates that the characters that are socially high seem to be morally inferior and those of lower rank are "elevated" by their actions (Austen 81). Austen's development of characters, especially Emma, is very effective in relaying her message about the snobbery and lack of gentility that existed in upper class society.

Open Document