When I think of Jane Austen, I think of Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy (obviously!). The Keira Knightley adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite movies of all time. I mean look below *swoons*
However, the book despite all the warm and fuzzy feels it gives out was pretty serious and stark at times. Emma on the other hand, is a playful take with mild satire on societal norms of the then England. I adored this story especially the main character Emma; a strong headed, playful girl who loves playing matchmaker among her dear ones.
The story like all Austen novels is based around the patriarchal England regency of the 19th century. Emma, coming from a prestigious and wealthy family is displayed as a well-mannered and groomed lady. However, after the marriage of her Governess (thanks to her efforts), she and her father are left alone in their mansion, as her mother died when she was pretty young. So upon observing the amount of single people in her neighborhood, Emma tries pairing them up especially her new friend Harriet; not so privileged like her in both manner and intellect but takes her under her wing.
However, throughout the story Emma is often contradicted by Mr. Knightley the brother-in-law of her sister, and close friend to the family. Knightley and Emma display an interesting banter that causes giggles and laughs and sighs of equal intensity. Despite their age gap of 16 years, both have the capability of silencing the other in one way or the other. The story takes an interesting turn with the introduction Frank Churchill (Emma’s love interest/more like a crush) and Jane Fairfox (the supposed love interest of Knightley). Despite all twists and turns the story delivers the happy ending that is expected and most natural.
There are points when I’m shaking my head at Emma’s naivety and blatant ignorance. Other times, laughing my head off on her insights.
Although, I have a pretty decent reading speed (read “When Breath Becomes Air” in 6 hours- I can brag a bit right?) I started reading Emma back in April and left it after a week. Picked up other books in the meantime but recently I was missing Austen’s writing style and the sort of backdrop she creates with her characters and their principles, so I started reading it again. Sometimes I feel like she is writing the objections and stereotypes that are still present in our society and I am astonished that 200 centuries later some of things are still prevalent despite the gigantic progress we’ve made.
By the way I’m so eyeing those Clothbound Classics by Penguin. Want them all so bad.
So let’s get down to the basics:
- Rating: 4.0/5.0
- Favorite quote: “And have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess? I pity you. I thought you cleverer; for depend upon it, a lucky guess is never merely luck. There is always some talent in it.”
- Reader level: Medium (You’re vocabulary will take a turn round the English Gardens for sure)
- Should you read: Sure.
- Would I read it again: Yeah, most probably when my Jane Austen needs are awakened again.
Till next time,