Emma (spoilers)

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ALynnPowers
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Re: Emma (spoilers)

Post by ALynnPowers » 27 Jan 2016, 09:03

Why was pride & prejudice so good and this one so coma inducing?

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PashaRu
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Post by PashaRu » 27 Jan 2016, 11:56

I completely agree that Emma was being super selfish and self-centered when she sent Harriet away. I mean, she already screwed her life up enough, and then doesn't wanted to be reminded of how miserable the poor girl is/will be when she finds out about Emma and Knightley. Oh, and that chapter where Knightley reads Frank's letter - yeah, that was really boring and completely unnecessary.

There is so much to dislike about the book. Overall, character portrayal was weak. I'm not sure who I was supposed to like and dislike, except for the Eltons. Was I supposed to like Emma? I didn't. For the entire book, I had a hard time getting a handle on who she is supposed to be. Was I supposed to see some personal growth in her? I didn't. Right up to the end, she remained essentially the same proud, selfish, spoiled young woman. Her sudden change of opinion toward Jane - I didn't buy it. Her sudden change toward Mr. Martin - I didn't buy it. These plot points seemed baseless and simply convenient ways to get to a happy ending. The other characters were weakly portrayed as well, except maybe for Mr. Woodhouse and Frank Churchill. I was ambivalent about Knightley, Jane F., Harriet, The Bateses, pretty much everyone. The characters were just not well drawn. Knightley never came across as the strong character I wanted him to be. Jane F. was not strongly portrayed, and I never really got to know her. We were told that Harriet is a sweet, pretty, innocent young thing, but she seemed to fall in love with a new man every 10 chapters.

And I was 2/3 of the way through the book before I actually became slightly interested in any of these people or their lives. Slightly. No plot to speak of, just uppity wealthy people consumed with the idea of romance and marriage and frequently talking about each other behind each others' backs. Wonderful. I wouldn't want them as my circle of friends, that's for sure. And the writing style/narrative was quite underwhelming. A lesson on how to make uninteresting events seem even less interesting.

I do believe that if this book was submitted to a publisher in today's world, it would be summarily rejected. There would have to be some major changes for this to be accepted by a publisher. Plot, character portrayal, balance of narrative vs. dialogue (especially in the first half of the book), and the dialogue itself are all problematic.

I agree, I would give this book 2 of 5. Even though that rating is not allowed here, too bad. It is what is is.
[Insert quote here. Read. Raise an eyebrow. Be mildly amused. Rinse & repeat.]
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Post by Yafa1822 » 11 Feb 2016, 10:28

It took me forever to get through this Austen book. While I love Emma and all her high jinxs and mad starts, this was not P&P.
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Post by Adoracoffee » 13 Feb 2016, 00:41

I love all of Jane Austen's books but Emma was not written in her usual style. Emma , the story was written in a more lighthearted way than Ms. Austen's usual intense manner. I think that was on purpose Ms. Austen used her books as a forum just as Mark Twain did, for the social situations that aggravated her and she felt needed to be changed. I feel that she wrote Emma in such a way to show how childish a woman can be and how she secretly wants to be married so to compensate for her immaturity she tries to get everyone else married. She marries Mr Knightley after she realizes that what she was looking for was right in front of her all along.
In answer to the question if I liked the movie Emma. I felt that that Gwyneth Paltrow portrayed Emma perfectly she is silly and immature but towards the end starts to mature. I liked the movie!

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Post by Sarah_Khan » 14 Feb 2016, 16:17

I have read all of Jane Austen books and I am a fan of her writing but I agree that Emma is not one of her best novels. Although Emma has been adapted into movies and television shows numerous times, I had trouble falling in love with this book. Personally I found the plot a little boring and predictable. I thought Emma was annoying and most of the characters like you said are not that likable, but I think she did that on purpose considering before she wrote the novel she was quoted as saying "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." So in the end I guess she achieved what she set out to achieve. :)

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Post by jlindquist » 16 Feb 2017, 00:19

I disagree with the majority. I liked Emma. It was only of my favorites as a high schooler and taught me many new words. It was very traditional heroine/hero style in that the female is silly and the gentleman is more knowledgeable. Different than Austin's other works but well written just the same. I think I will have to read Emma again.

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Post by Christina O Phillips » 12 Apr 2017, 12:20

While this one took me a bit longer to read than the other Austen novels I've read, I still enjoyed it. I agree that Emma is vain and meddling, but that didn't make not want to read it.

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Post by Marie Kala » 14 Sep 2017, 09:13

I really didn't like the characters in Emma either (especially Emma) which made wading through the book far more tedious and boring than it should have been. However, after I finished reading the book, I realized that it was kind of exceptional how real my dislike for the characters was. And that was due to the author's uncanny ability to spin people out of ink. So, although I may not have liked the book very much initially, it grew on me afterwards, along with my respect for the author.

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Post by uyky » 08 Feb 2018, 14:53

I had the same problem. I forced myself through this book and it was for the same reasons you wrote. It's been years now, and I only remember the story because my friend made me watch TV version.

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Post by pricklypurple » 30 Jun 2018, 16:03

I actually love Emma, but I think that's because I saw so many movie adaptations that I loved, including Clueless and had those moments in my head when I read it.

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Post by Ksharmilla » 13 Jul 2018, 13:00

I loved Emma. In fact, it was my second favorite after Pride and Prejudice. Yes I noticed the similarities, but I chose to overlook them.
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Post by misatifelix » 17 Jul 2018, 04:06

Emma's book is captivating but its movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow is more tantalizing.

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Post by booklysis » 13 Aug 2018, 08:58

After reading Pride And Prejudice I thought I would like it too. But I just read only 7-8 pages and I was super-bored! I just hated it.

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Post by PegR » 12 Jan 2019, 23:29

I can honestly tell you: You are not alone!! I read this book, because I love Jane Austen. I made a reading list and to my surprise the movie "Clueless" was based on this. I was very exicetd. But, as much as I loved Knightly, to me Emma was way too spoiled - Alicia Sylverstone did an amazing job - but Emma's character was way over the top and a lot more meddiling than I thought. This to me is a read once book.

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