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Literary Analysis: “Emma” by Jane Austen
In this essay, we shall offer a thorough analysis of the mechanics of gender; social class and feminism. We shall explore Emma, the main character of the novel, and her relationship with Mr. Knightley using the lens above. At the end, we shall offer a brief analysis on how the novel’s style has been mimicked in contemporary young adult fiction.
Emma as a Character. Emma is first described as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.” (Austen 1) That description gives us an idea of the character we are speaking of. Emma has not had a problem in her life. She has lived a secluded and protected life in her house, learning the ropes of life by the hand of Ms. Taylor. Strictly speaking, the first moment where Emma’s life suffers from an upheaval is when Ms. Taylor decides to marry and turns into Mrs. Weston. At that moment, Emma loses all her drive, as she lacks the intellectual stimulus provided by her governess.
Emma as a novel shows the maturation; the coming-of-age of a girl who struggles to become a woman in a society that would not allow women to harness fully their potential. Emma begins as a self-absorbed girl, and at the end of the b…
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