Emma Chat Recap #3

Mar 18, 2014 by

This week’s chat brought us through chapter 23.  You can always join in at any time! Next Sunday we will be meeting in the chat room at 6 PST / 9 EST to discuss through chapter 31.  Join us!



Mr. Elton = Moron


Jess: So where do we want to start? With what a moron Mr. Elton is?  We did the proposal last week, but this week it starts with the recovery from it…and on CHRISTMAS EVE!  Way to ruin a holiday, jerk.

Lynne: I really liked that she saw that he wasn’t brokenhearted.

Liz: She misjudged, he’s there proclaiming his love, she rejects him, and then they’re still stuck in the carriage.  I cringed back from the pages.

Jess: So awkward, Liz.  Yeah, Lynne she could tell right away and she was right, he was offended but not brokenhearted

Farida: He was awful and so unpleasant!

Samantha: So funny how certain Elton was that Emma loved him.

Jess: And I think it’s interesting how Emma considers him as much lower than her as he thinks Harriet is lower than him.

Nancy (via Liz): Actually, that does show Emma’s snobbishness towards Harriet– You could have a friend who was lower than you by a few social degrees but not marry a man who is lower than you. That’s an interesting distinction.

Farida: It’s a bit difficult to keep in mind their social standing and what is due to each of them… does anyone else have this problem? I have to remind myself that they are not modern people and there are all these rules..



Emma = Back in the Saddle Again


Lynne: So Emma is just starting to think “maybe I’m not a good matchmaker. But maybe I’m wrong about being wrong.  Maybe I am a good one after all. Next!”

Liz: *facepalm* to Emma.

Jess: Yeah, she certainly rebounds to it fast.  Even with the entrance of Jane Fairfax she thinks “oh, it’s too bad there’s no one to set her up with.”

Nancy (via Liz): Maybe Emma is projecting her need to see romantic love onto other people. [Hence the matchmaking.]   She’s sublimated her own romantic love needs due to having to be with her father all the time.

Jess: Possibly, because she feels like she needs to stay with her father. He’s so upset still by his first daughter leaving – and she’s been gone long enough to have 5 kids

Lynne:  Yeah, if I had to spend time with her father, romance would NOT be on my mind. Quick death would be.

*Brief confusion on how many kids Isabella actually has*

*Jennifer confirms there are 5 but only three named*

Jennifer: They were there, but not there.  But oh how they love visiting Mr. Woodhouse.



Jane and Those Who Can’t, Write:


Samantha: So if Emma is matchmaking because she can’e marry, is Austen writing romance because she can’t get any? Interesting. . .

Jess: That is an interesting thought, Samantha.  Those who can’t ….write.

Lynne: Could Austen resist writing about romance? But I had a similar thought regarding Emma. Was Jane a bit like her, watching romance from a disjointed pov?

Nancy (via Liz): Jane did give strict advice to her nieces– And it wasn’t “Marry the richest” but “Marry the guy you can stand living with.

Jennifer: I agree with Nancy/Liz, whom I will refer to as the Borg for no reason.  She had a message to women who just married morons for money.

Jess: I feel like with Mr. W and Miss Bates Austen just LET LOOSE with all the ridiculous stuff she’s been forced to hear over the years.

Jennifer: I can’t believe how long those food conversations went!


When in Doubt, Kill the Parents:


Samantha: Anyone else notice how many characters are orphans in this novel?

Jess: YES, EVERYONE IS DEAD. Mr. W is like the only remaining parent.

Samantha: Not necessarily orphans missing both parents, but at least one. Even Mrs. Elton has no parents.

Liz: How common was that, back then?

Lynne: Lots of death in childbirth.

Samantha: Where are Mr. Elton’s parents? Any mention?

Jess: Knightley Brothers – Parents dead, Jane Fairfax – parents dead, the new Mrs. Elton – parents dead, Harriet – Parents UNKNOWN, Emma – Mom Dead, Churchill – Mom dead, The Martins – Dad dead…

Jennifer: Mr. Elton – hatched.

Samantha: But Mr. Woodhouse lives on and on and on. How old it that guy anyway?

Lynne: Mr. Woodhouse is about 103.

Patty: It’s because Mr. Woodhouse takes care of himself

Jess: It’s the gruel, Sam.

Patty: And stays away from snow.

Samantha: Long live gruel! This book could be renamed The Woodhouse Diet.

Jennifer: Gruel for everybody, along with some nice fried pork. No cake.

Jess: Fried pork: with just a little oil…lightly salted.


Also discussed:

Why does Knightley fall in love with Emma?

Is his relationship with her too paternal?

Did he keep correcting her all the time once they got married? Or were they a happy, content couple?

Why did Austen spend so much time on a physical description of Jane Fairfax when she usually doesn’t spend much time on them at all?

Emma and Frank – sometimes it’s not a perfect match even if everyone ships it.

Emma is written more like a mystery than a romance.



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