Monday, January 25, 2010
Emma by Jane Austen
Emma is essentially the story of the transformation of Emma Woodhouse from a self-righteous, headstrong young woman to a wise, joyful woman. Emma prides herself on her matchmaking ability. The happiness of the marriage of her former governess is her obvious proof. When she takes on Harriet Smith as her charge and determines to find the perfect match for her, her attempts fail time and time again. Disappointed in the outcome of her attempts, she resolves to only contribute to Harriet's happiness as her friend. In the end, when it seems that a match for Harriet may finally be made between Harriet and Mr. Knightley, only then does Emma realize the truth she has denied for so long and the folly of what she worked so hard for may cost her heart.
Emma is a classic by Jane Austen and this is my first time reading one of Austen's works. I certainly understand why the book is considered a classic. Austen engages the reader who wonders about the outcome until the very end. The style in which it is written requires thought and time to truly understand the story. It is definitely not one that can be read through at a high speed and still comprehended at a high level. I browsed the introduction to this book as it was probably close to 50 pages long. The writer of the introduction seems to think that Emma had some gender-identity issues. I completely disagree. The portions he cited did not seem to prove his point to me and I believe the ending settles any question of if Emma is attracted to men or women. Personally, I loved this book. I would not recommend it to anyone who does not enjoy reading, but I would recommend it to people who are fans of romance.