Saturday, May 15, 2010

Emma by Jane Austen Summary

Here I am again to post my summary of Jane Austen's Emma.

          "Emma Woodhouse, who was aged 20, lived with her widowed father Mr. Henry Woodhouse in the estate of Hartfield. Emma’s close friend, and only critic George Knightley, also lived in the adjacent estate of Donwell. Mr. Knightley was also the brother of the husband of Emma’s elder sister, Isabella.
            At the opening of the story, Emma’s best friend and former governess, Miss Taylor, had just married Mr. Weston. Emma takes credit for their marriage, and decided that she rather liked match making.
            Against the advice of Mr. Knightley, Emma forged ahead with her new interest by trying to match her new friend Harriet Smith, to Mr. Elton, the local vicar. Emma was convinced that Mr. Elton was attracted and in love with Harriet.
            But beforehand, Emma must first persuade Harriet to refuse a marriage proposal from Mr. Martin, a respectable young farmer. Emma snobbishly decided that he wasn’t good enough for Harriet. Harriet, though beyond her will, rejected Mr. Martin, as Emma told her.  
            Emma’s schemes went awry when Mr. Elton proposed to Emma herself, instead of Harriet. Emma, rather shocked, told Mr. Elton that she had thought of him attached to Harriet. But Elton was outraged at the idea of marrying the socially inferior Harriet.
            After Emma rejected Elton, he left for a while for a hiatus in Bath. Harriet felt heartbroken, but on the other hand, Emma tried to convince her that Mr. Elton was still beneath her after all.
            One day, a new man arrived. He was Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston’s son from his first marriage. Emma had never met him, but was interested to do so.
            The arrival of Jane Fairfax, the reserved but beautiful and elegant niece of Miss Bates was also awaited. Miss Bates was Emma’s talkative neighbor and was already a spinster. Jane, being musically inclined, was Miss Bates’ pride and joy. Emma envied her talent and disliked her for her coldness.
            In her eagerness to find fault with Jane, and also to find something to amuse her in her dull village, Emma indulged that Jane was an object of admiration for Miss Campbell’s husband, Mr. Dixon. This suspicion was further fueled by the arrival of a piano for Jane from a mysterious benefactor.
            Emma tried to make herself fall in love with Frank because everyone said they make a handsome couple. But Emma ultimately decided, however, that Frank would suit Harriet better after Frank saved Harriet from a band of gypsies.
            At this time, Mrs. Weston wondered if Emma’s old friend Mr. Knightley, might have taken a fancy to Jane. Emma then decided that she didn’t want Mr. Knightley to marry anyone. She claimed that because she wanted her little nephew, Henry, to inherit the family property.
            Meanwhile, Jane reportedly became ill but refused to see Emma, or even accept her gifts. Emma thought Jane’s behavior was due to Emma’s coldness towards Jane.
            Soon, Emma learned why Jane had behaved strangely. It’s because Jane and Frank had been secretly engaged for almost a year.
            When Harriet divulged that she thought Mr. Knightley was in love with her, jealousy made Emma realized that she loved him herself. Mr. Knightley, on the other had, had been in love with Emma all along. After Jane and Frank’s engagement was revealed, he then proposed to Emma, that she joyfully accepted.
            Shortly thereafter, Harriet reconciled with the young farmer, Mr. Martin, and they married. Jane and Emma also reconciled before Jane and Frank went to live in Yorkshire. Finally, Emma and Mr. Knightley decided that after their marriage, they would live with Emma’s father at Hartfield, instead of settling at Donwell."
I personally don't like this story, but if you like it, then it's better.

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