Emma Woodhouse is the women centric character as depicted in Jane Austen Novel. Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work and she is all what women loves to be – beautiful, rich and clever. The story opens with her care free life in her beautiful estate Hartfield living with her hypochondriac father and her governess Miss Taylor. The single Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life but neither believes in Marriage or Love. She wanted to stay single forever.
‘I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.’
The author Jane Austen has herself said that she wrote on her novel a sentence “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” True to those words, Emma strives throughout the story given the fact she hates her behaviour herself making misguided attempts to bring her friends and acquaintances together romantically but fails over and over making her ever so good life miserable.
Being credited to the wedding bells of Miss Taylor, her best friend and former governess with that of Mr. Weston made Emma decide that she is best fitted for match-making and this in turn makes her to meddle into the life of her new friend Harriet Smith, a young and naïve lady who is easily misleaded.She tries to match Harriet with Mr. Elton, the local vicar but he refuses to her proposal making the love struck Harriet heart broken.
More characters develop and get involved in the story making it more complex with twists and turns till the climax. Emma’s good friend Mr Knightley guides her from the beginning and in fact makes the book interesting with his amusing dialogues and intelligent arguments with her. Other characters in the story like Harriet Smith, Mr Elton, Mr Knightly, Miss Bates, Isabella and Frank Churchill are all well developed, interesting with their own defined characters.
Jane Austen characters in the story are very relevant. Miss Bates – a relatively poor woman and the harmless chatterbox , Mr Woodhouse – the kind old gentleman who doesn’t like change and tends to worry about everything , Mrs Elto-, the most unpleasant, self-centred woman imaginable and Emma , the confident young mischievous woman are all well developed , interesting with their own defined characters.
“Emma’s eyes were instantly withdrawn; and she sat silently meditating, in a fixed attitude, for a few minutes. A few minutes were sufficient for making her acquainted with her own heart. A mind like hers, once opening to suspicion, made rapid progress. She touched— she admitted—she acknowledged the whole truth. Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!
Her own conduct, as well as her own heart, was before her in the same few minutes. She saw it all with a clearness which had never blessed her before. How improperly had she been acting by Harriet! How inconsiderate, how indelicate, how irrational, how unfeeling had been her conduct! What blindness, what madness, had led her on! It struck her with dreadful force, and she was ready to give it every bad name in the world. Some portion of respect for herself, however, in spite of all these demerits— some concern for her own appearance, and a strong sense of justice by Harriet.”
The book has a fairy tale ending where all the ladies finds their love and even Emma who once vowed of not getting into marriage finds her mate in Mr.Knightely providing the story an unexpected yet welcomed ending. Overall, Jane Austen’s Emma is a remarkable classic that you can read in one sitting and still wanted it to be never ending.