Sunday, 9 November 2014

Vol III: Chps 11 - 19

This is where I'd usually say "It's been nice knowing y'all" except I think people might think I'm crazy if I wave goodbye to...myself. I should probably just post before I say/type anything weird.

Let's get to it then.
These chapters were all various stages of Emma realizing she loves Knightley. 

-Emma realizes she loves Knightley
-Emma smiles
-Emma meets up with Harriet, who says she loves Knightley
-Emma frowns
-Emma thinks Knightley likes Harriet
-Emma cries and wishes Knightley would stay single forever
-Emma randomly meets Knightley on a walk, its awkward, Knightley is adorable, they decide to get married, Emma smiles again
-Emma has to break it to Harriet
-Emma goes back to hanging out with Knightley after shipping Harriet off to spend time with her sister in London
-Emma can't leave her poor papa, so maybe she won't marry Knightley after all
-Take that back! Knightley figures it out! He'll come and live at Emma's house until her dad dies! Smiles all around (except Harriet, poor dear.)
-Harriet gets engaged to Mr. Martin (finally) and Emma is happy to be with Knightley and at peace with herself.

Emma, Emma, Emma, Knightley, Knightley, Knightley, blah, blah, blah

To be perfectly honest, these last chapters are so filled with character soul-searching that, while the reader is happy for the character, you can't help but think "Yes, We know you like him! Yeah, we got that you've been blind! Okay, that's great Emma, we've sort of seen this the whole time! Move along dear, and hurry up, he's not yours yet!" and then later "Oh stop fussing Emma its really not that big of a deal! Harriet's too much of a ninny to snatch Knightley, YOU HAVE NO COMPETITION! What are you worried about?!?!?!?!?!?!"  Ugh. Emotion. Though let's not forget Knightley is 16 years older than Emma. 

But really, Knightley (and all Jane Austen guys) is absolutely adorable:

I mean, look at him!!!!

And...."I cannot make speeches Emma." YES YOU CAN

ANYWAY, I guess I have to actually discuss what I read now.......


Even though I complain about Emma's soul searching, I really do think it was good for her character. She becomes a lot more humble, a lot more sincere towards Harriet (if that's possible), and a lot more caring and thoughtful towards people's feelings in general. Its great for her, and its probably in the best interest of everyone around her. I was really just interested in her anxiety over Harriet after her walk in the garden with Knightley:

"How to do her best by Harriet, was of more difficult decision;---how to spare her from any unnecessary pain; how to maker her any possible atonement; how to appear least her enemy?----On these subjects, her perplexity and distress were very great---and her mind had to pass again and again through every bitter reproach and sorrowful regret that had ever surrounded it." pg 376


Since it is the last week.....


Aren't they just adorable!? I mean! HE RODE THROUGH THE RAIN

On that note, here's an article on the decline of chivalry.


Since I focused so much on the action leading up to them finally getting married, here's the very last paragraph of the book, that talks about the wedding itself:

"The wedding was very much like other weddings, where the parties have no taste for finery or parade; and Mrs. Elton from the particulars detailed by her husband [implying that she wasn't invited!!!!!!], thought it all extremely shabby, and very inferior to her own.---"Very little white satin, very plain lace veils, a most pitiful business!----Selina would stare when she heard of it."---But, in spite of those deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union.
" pg 421

The End, thank you to whoever actually read this, hope you enjoyed it; I really enjoyed posting all the pictures and video from the movies.....And once again, I have succeeded in making a reference to one Emma movie or another in every. single. post. Gold star for me.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Vol III: Chapters 1-10

Almost there......and yet the book doesn't slow down, each chapter is still filled with a ton of stuff that I'd love to talk about. C'est la vie!

Really quickly, here's a summary of what happened in the past 10 chapters:

- Frank returns; Emma is certain that his regard for her has decreased
-Mr. Elton slights Harriet at a ball
-Knightley saves Harriet in her distress^!
(-Knightley dances with Emma)
-Harriet gets attacked by gypsies, is saved by Frank
-Harriet and Emma destroy Harriet's treasures of Mr. Elton
-Knightley hates Frank because he thinks Frank is pursuing Emma
-Trip to Box Hill: Emma severely slights Miss Bates (REMEMBER WHAT I SAID ABOUT LAUGHING AT MS. BATES, BUT NOT SLIGHTING HER?!)
-Emma and Knightley fight a little
-Emma visits the Bateses to make up for her poor behavior
-Mrs. Churchill dies (!!)
-The news breaks that Frank and Jane Fairfax have secretly been engaged since last October!

So, there's a quick summary of what happened. Lots of big events, both for society and internal character growth.


I'd like to discuss Knightley's behavior throughout these chapters; he is becoming very over protective of Emma, even though (as of yet) he has no claims to her, and his criticism has become less of a friend and more of "something infinitely more dear".  Something along these lines that I really liked was this passage:
"'Whom are you going to dance with?' asked Mr. Knightley.
She hesitated a moment, and then replied, 'With you, if you will ask me.'
'Will you?' said he, offering his hand.
'Indeed I will. You have shewn that you can dance, and you know we are not really so much brother and sister as to make it at all improper.' [remember, they are sort of pseudo siblings because their siblings are married.]
'Brother and sister! no, indeed.'"
(pg 285 K)
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a Victorian-era-sly-comment-suggesting-flirtation.

So this slight flirtation grows throughout what we (I)'ve read, becoming an intense hatred for Frank Churchill, suggesting fact, he becomes so upset about Frank that while sitting with Mr. Woodhouse and Emma one night,

"He found he could not be useful, and his feelings were too much irritated for talking." (pg 303 K)

Then a small bump in the road when Emma is rude to Miss Bates:

"It was badly done, indeed." (pg 324 K)
(^Hence the name of this blog "Badly Done Emma")

And then we get the infamous "I've-got-to-get-away-from-you-to-clear-my-head-'cause-I-love-you-too-much"-move. Knightley suddenly develops a burning desire to go to Brunswick Square to spend a few days with his brother John and Isabella. And before leaving, joy of joys, this happens:

"...a little movement of more than common friendliness on his part.---He took her hand;---whether she had not herself made the first motion, she could not say---she might perhaps, have rather offered it,----but he took her hand, pressed it, and certainly was on the point of carrying it to his lips--when, from some fancy or other, he suddenly let it go." (pg 333)


We have to wait and see what happens to Knightley's emotions when he comes back in the last 10 chapters.....


So, I noticed that Emma, even though she doesn't like Frank, and even though she's certain he doesn't like her as much, and even though she's resolved to not give him any encouragement, is very wrapped up in whether or not he notices her and is being attentive to her. Really annoying. And for all Emma's great qualities, it shows she can be vain. Arthur Schopenhauer did an essay on the vanity of existence: scroll down a little to read it.


So many to chose from! So many that really should be included! And most of them are incredibly long and I'm sure you don't want to read them! I guess I just have to pick a few then.......

1. Emma's opinion of what a man's character should be like with regard to his dealings with other people:
"General benevolence, but not general friendship, made a man what he ought to be."
(pg 275 K)

2. After Harriet is attacked by gypsies and Frank brings her to Emma's house, she thinks to herself:
"Such an adventure as this,--a fine young man and a lovely young woman thrown together in such a way, could hardly fail of suggesting certain ideas to the coldest heart and the steadiest brain."
(pg 288).

3. Knightley's firm opinion on who can invite people to his house (a rebuttal to Mrs. Elton):
"'No', --he calmly replied--'there is only one married woman in the world whom I can ever allow to invite what guests she pleases to Donwell, and that one is---' 
'---Mrs. Weston, I suppose,' interrupted Mrs. Elton, rather mortified.
'No----Mrs. Knightley; ---and till she is in being, I will manage such matters myself.'"
(pg 306)

4. Emma's slight to  Ms. Bates at Box Hill:
"'Three things very dull indeed.' That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever open my mouth, shan't I? (looking round with the most good-humoured  dependence on every body's assent)---Do not you all think I shall?'
Emma could not resist.
'Ah! ma'am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me---but you will be limited as to number---only three at once.'
Miss Bates, deceived by the mock ceremony of her manner, did not immediately catch her meaning; but, when it burst on her, it could not anger, though a slight blush shewed that it could pain her."
(pg 320 K)
This one is so important to Emma's character development, I think it deserves a movie clip:

I think that's everything!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

End of Volume II: Chps 11-18

It seems that once again, there's a lot to talk about. Let's just get right to it then:

In these chapters, there were a few significant events, namely:

-Frank goes away
-Emma thinks she might be in love with him
-Emma decides she's not in love with Frank and begins to match Frank with Harriet
-Elton brings home his new wife
-Speculation as to Knightley's loving Jane Fairfax
-Emma suspects an attachment on the part of Jane Fairfax for Frank Churchill
-A debate on the merits of Frank Churchill's handwriting, with Emma and Mrs. Weston on one side and Knightley on the other (maybe the only disappointing part of the entire book, though not any less intriguing)
-A fair amount of dinner time chit chat that doesn't add a whole lot to the story,except the news that Frank will soon be back. The conversation also divulges that Mrs. Elton is "self-important, presuming, familiar, ignorant, and ill-bred" (pg 241), but that means she's perfect for Mr. Elton so hurrahs all around.

Before I officially begin, a quick character sketch of the new Mrs. Elton, previously, Miss Hawkins:

Ugh. She even looks annoying
Mrs. Elton, coming in after everyone circulated such positive rumors of her, is now the most pesky person in the community. Emma thought her annoying at first, then resolved to call again to get a more fair picture and came to this conclusion:
"...she [Emma] had a quarter of an hour of the lady's [Mrs. Elton's] conversation to herself, and could composedly attend to her; and the quarter of an hour quite convinced her that Mrs. Elton was a vain woman, extremely well satisfied with herself, and thinking much of her own importance; that he meant to shine and be very superior, but with manners which had been formed in a bad school, pert and familiar...." (pg 233 K)

Harsh. Evidently Mrs. Elton is not a very amiable person. Oh well! I don't pity Mr. Elton at all!

No cake for you Mrs. Elton!


These chapters focused mainly on Frank Churchill and news regarding him. Unfortunately, very little was said of Harriet, even though she is the one feeling pretty bad right now, seeing as the guy she was provoked into liking just got married. I feel really bad for her---and now Mr. and Mrs. Elton are back in Highbury, and as newly weds, they must be called upon by everyone. Emma is sincerely trying to help Harriet now (not that she wasn't before, but here she can do it without messing up for the most part). Emma completely takes the blame again, which is sweet of her, and then there's this lovely passage(s) that make their friendship complete:

"Such expressions, assisted as they were by everything that look and manner could do, made Emma feel that she had never loved Harriet so well, nor valued her affection so highly before." and then further down the page "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
[Both quotes from page 230 K]

So hopefully, after seeing Mrs. Elton, Harriet and Emma can sit back and laugh at the opportunity Mr. Elton passed up in not giving Harriet his attentions. Mrs. Elton is far inferior in manners and virtue to Harriet, even though Harriet is of lower birth.


This connection will be mostly based off of the passage below, in which Mrs. Weston and Emma are discussing the possibility of Mr. Knightley being in love with Jane Fairfax.

"Why, really, dear Emma, I say that he is so very much occupied by the idea of not being in love with her, that I should not wonder if it were to end in his being so at last. Do not beat me."
(pg 248 K) its not exactly reverse psychology, because Knightley's not being persuaded, but its along those same's a Wikipedia article that gives the basics on Reverse Psychology.


In these chapters, Emma does a lot of internal debating about whether or not she's in love with Frank Churchill. She finally concludes that she is not in love with him, but that he is very much in love with her....her thought process is pretty funny though:

"Emma continued to entertain no doubt of her being in love" (pg 226 K)
"...the conclusion of every imaginary declaration on his side was that she refused him." (pg 226 K)
and later
"When she became sensible of this, it struck her that she could not be very much in love." (same page as above)

Also, Frank Churchill gave two cents on Miss Bates:
"She is a woman that one may, that one must laugh at; but that one would not wish to slight." (pg 223 K)
(Keep this in mind.......)
Also, for all Knightley's disapproval of Frank, I think he'd appreciate that quote. And so,

For the first time in a long time


Monday, 20 October 2014

Vol II: Chps 1-9

A quickly moving story is both a blessing and a curse; it keeps you engaged, but it means really long blog posts. We shall have to make do.

In these chapters, we meet more important characters, namely Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill.
Also in these chapters,
-the infamous piano forte from an anonymous donor
-tons and tons and tons of gossiping between Frank Churchill and Emma
-again, Knightley frowns upon all.

Jane Fairfax--She is very reserved and quiet, pretty but "lacking complexion"
Lacking complexion??

Frank Churchill-- personable, young, lively, and yet annoying. Really too attentive in my opinion
Definitely a nicer looking Frank Churchill than the other Frank Churchill


There are two things I'd like to talk about for these chapters:

1st: Emma's violent mood swings: She's always indecisive. First loving people, then hating them, then thinking they're alright, then going back to hating them. This is a theme I've been noticing throughout the chapters I've read so far.

2nd: (The one I want to focus on) The passage that prompted this bit of discussion:

"Harriet was one of those, who, having once begun, would be always in love." (pg 156 K Location 2355)
And if you think about it, this is how most young, frivolous, silly girls act. Luckily for Harriet (HA), Emma is her dearest friend and tries to make ammends by sending her to the Martin's house for a call. Harriet is unfortunately always thinking of Mr. Elton, even though Mr. Martin is making more advances. (Poor Mr. Martin, I feel so bad for him.)


Something I've been thinking about through all this reading, as well as all through other Jane Austen books, is how much thought went into evaluating an acceptable suitor. It seemed there was a wealth of knowledge about each single man's life: his family history, his income, the name of his estate, everything!!! Today, all girls seem to know when thinking about this are people's looks. Shame. But all the same I can't completely be despairing, here's a website that sort of provides a solution similar to what I have in mind:


I thought Emma's first evaluation of Frank Churchill hilarious and I guess this first impression is much more "modern" than I was harsh enough to state above.

"...he was a very good looking young man; height, air, address, all were unexceptionable, and his countenance had a great deal of the spirit and liveliness of his father'; he looked quick and sensible. She felt immediately that she should like him; and there was a well-bred ease of manner, and a readiness to talk, which convinced her that he came intending to be acquainted with her, and that acquainted they soon must be."
(pg 162 K)

Emma is a "judge a book by its cover" kind of person and it can be very annoying at times.

I think that's it. This section really was mostly Frank and Emma gossiping about anything and everything, and a fair amount of that gossip was about Jane Fairfax and the Dixons.

Finally, here is possibly the worst incarnation of Frank Churchill ever, for your consideration:
I'm sorry, but what were they thinking?!!!!!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

End of Vol I: Chps 10 - 18

Well, here we go again, with more action-packed chapters. :)

Some major events that happened in these chapters:

-Isabella and John Knightley come to visit
- Emma and Mr. (George) Knightley become friends again after their fight over Harriet
-Christmas party, at which time Harriet is sick, stays home, and Emma is proposed to by Mr. Elton (as foretold by Mr. John Knightley. Also, see discussion and connection below)
-Emma's fascination with Mr. Frank Churchill (who she's never met) really begins here
- Frank Churchill again becomes important; important enough for another quarrel (this one smaller than the last) between Knightley and Emma


I'd like to focus on the Christmas party bit, specifically Mr. Elton's proposal, subsequent refusal, and the pain and awkwardness that followed. This scene marks Emma's first failure in matchmaking---one that she was sure would be successful, to the point where she encouraged Harriet to form an attachment to Mr. Elton that now causes her pain. I'm a little ashamed of Emma: I thought with all her "ready wit" she would have seen it all coming from a mile away (the framing of the picture, the charade, etc was all for her) but she was blinded by her determination to make a match, so she bent everything to skew it one way or another. Both Knightley brothers cautioned her against this, both mentioning Mr. Elton as a warning flag and to both she laughed and walked away. Not only is this part painful for Emma because it means hurting Harriet, its also painful because it affects her opinion of Mr. Elton. She says on pg 116 (kindle), "...Mr. Elton was proving himself, in many respects, the very reverse of what she had meant and believed him; proud, assuming, conceited; very full of his own claims, and little concerned about the feelings of others." (Kinda sounds like our modern day average teenage boy, don't you think?) Not only does Emma blunder in not properly interpreting Mr. Elton's actions, her own actions coincide (though, she admits this, which is a step forward in terms of humility): she was always very kind to him, encouraged him to spend more time at Hartfield, etc.

After all this pain and internal conflict, Emma goes through a good "purge", where she admits to herself that being so active in matchmaking was a bad idea, and also recognizes that she may have lost the only admirer that Harriet will actually get (Mr. Martin) by convincing her that Mr. Elton was a much more suitable prize. Luckily for Emma, Harriet takes the news relatively well (she cries, but blames no one) and Mr. Elton leaves town for a few weeks vacation in Bath (Okay, is it just me, or do guys in older books like this always go on vacation somewhere when in love/trying to forget some girl? I'll bring this up later in the blog NO SPOILERS). So, for the first time we (I) get to say, "Badly done, Emma! Very badly done!" but afterwards we can console ourselves with a "well, at least she's trying to make Harriet feel better now". It's not much, but its what we've got.


The scene where Mr. Elton expresses his passionate love for Emma is hilarious (and awkward) in the 1996 movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, so, for your enjoyment:

One thing that caught my attention here was "kindly refrain from the intimacy of whispering". I've never really thought of whispering as something "intimate" but now that I think about it, whispering is mostly an action reserved for very good friends, secrets, and couples. So, yeah, it is kind of an intimate thing. For more on whispering, here's a study done on the "perception and judgement of whispered vocalisations".


I had several short things highlighted throughout these chapters, but here are my favorite bits and pieces:

1. Emma declares she won't marry (HA):
"My being charming, Harriet, is not quite enough to induce me to marry; I must find other people charming-one other person at least. And I am not only, not going to be married, at present, but have very little intention of ever marrying at all."
She continues later on the page:
"Were I to fall in love indeed, it would be a different thing! But I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall. And without love, I am sure I should be a fool to change such a situation as mine. Fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want: I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband's house as I am of Hartfield; and never, never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's!"

(pg 72/73 K) 

Ah! What great thought we used to put into getting married! I wish we gave that much consideration now-days. 

2. "Never mind,  Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public!"

 (pg 73/74 K)
True; sad, but true.

Well, that's it! Next week I start Volume II, where hopefully the famous Mr. Frank Churchill will be finally introduced!


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Chps 1 - 9

These first 9 chapters are packed, what with introducing everyone, explaining everything, and beginning Emma's matchmaking adventures. To begin, I'll give a short introduction to almost everyone introduced here:

Emma Woodhouse- the main star of the show; 21  yrs old, youngest of 2 daughters, thinks "a little too well of herself"

Mr. Woodhouse- Emma's father, widower; valetudinarian (a person who is unduly anxious about their health), dotes on his daughters, especially Emma

Isabella Knightley( previously Isabella Woodhouse)- Emma's big sister, married to John Knightley, mother of 4

John Knightley- younger brother of George Knightley (referred to as Mr. Knightley)

George Knightley (Mr. Knightley)- Emma's close friend, points out Emma's faults

Mrs. Weston (previously Ms. Taylor)- Emma's former governess and mentor

Mr. Weston- Ms. Taylor's husband, step-father to Frank Churchill

Miss Bates- respected, poor, not-so-bright member of the community
Mrs. Bates- Miss Bate's mother, widow of previous village vicar

Harriet Smith- new friend of Emma, natural daughter of somebody (nobody?), pretty, but not clever, boarding with Mrs. Goddard, mistress of the boarding school

Mr. Elton- village vicar. (Side note: he annoys me)

Mr. Martin- village farmer, suitor of Harriet Smith


A lot happens in these chapters (Ms. Taylor gets married, Emma and Harriet become friends, Emma convinces Harriet to refuse Mr. Martin and pursue Mr. Elton, Knightley frowns upon all).  I'd like to focus on the friendship between Emma and Harriet. I know Knightley said, "this great intimacy between Emma and Harriet Smith....I think it a bad thing" (28 Kindle). He continues with "I think they will neither of them do the other any good" (29K). Knightley, as much as I hold you in much higher regard because of your sensibility, here I must disagree with you. Even though Harriet is a fool and Emma is, well, also a fool, I think they will help each other (yes, I've read the whole thing, but the future aside, I still see how the friendship can be mutually beneficial). Here's my position: Emma is a fool, less so than Harriet, who has no knowledge of anything. Emma has had the advantage of a good teacher, and so while she may mislead Harriet, she will still give Harriet some sense. Emma will learn from her mistakes, for as Mrs. Weston said, one mistake Emma makes is never made again. If she trips up "helping" Harriet, she'll learn to do better in the future. Through the entire endeavor to help Harriet, she will learn some humility and also help herself. Harriet will undoubtedly profit less than Emma, but hey, the book's called Emma, its about Emma, and Emma is the one who we're supposed to be following, not Harriet.


Emma talks a fair amount about introducing Harriet into "good" society, and while I have some understanding of where all these characters fit in, I decided to do a bit more research for my connection. Here's a chart I found that demonstrates the hierarchy well:

So the Woodhouses are Aristocrats, specifically, Country Gentlemen. They have land, they have money, they lead comfortable lives without working. Harriet's parents are unkown, so its really her behavior, as Emma pointed out, that defines where she goes. However, here Knightley's advice makes sense. Harriet doesn't know who her parents are, and should be thankful for any position given to her. It is more than likely that Harriet belongs to the Upper or Lower Middle Class.


"Mr. Woodhouse was fond of society in his own way. He liked very much to have his friends come and see him"....."...his horror of late hours, and large dinner-parties, made him unfit for any acquaintance but such as would visit him on his own terms." (13K)

This passage was funny to me--it shows how Mr. Woodhouse is essentially an old hobbit in the form of a man. With that, I shall leave my reader with a picture of this man-hobbit:


Friday, 26 September 2014

Coincidental posting

I know we're not starting yet, but I just ran across this article on matchmaking (completely randomly) and thought it was perfect for Emma...

Read the article here.

As promised originally, a picture for my wonderful reader:

Done with matchmaking? I think not!