Jane Austen is a realist novelist and Emma is a realistic, feminist, domestic and social novel. She uses it to portray the real picture of the society. Jane Austen belongs to the 19th-century society. In that era, women were confined to their houses only. Women were not free to make choices about their lives. They have to depend on their male counterpart for their financial expenditures. They have to tie themselves to the relationship of marriage in order to survive. The society and social class which she has depicted in this novel Emma seem to be realistic. She has portrayed the social class of Highbury in her novel. Jane Austen has undoubtedly the real picture of this society and its inhabitants. She also portrays the men and manners of society in the actual form and real sense. Jane Austen identifies the role of the upper class in the society. She thinks that they should provide a source of comfort to the poor men in society. Emma Woodhouse takes responsibility on behalf of Austen in the novel. She is portrayed as a generous and heartedly girl. She loves to bring comfort to the lives of people living in her surroundings. She takes the role of a social worker in the society. She tries to comfort them and also wants to eradicate their miseries. Austen comments about her that she‘’ entered into their troubles with ready sympathy’’. Jane elaborates on her efforts to console the people living a miserable life. This all reveals that Jane Austen portrays a realistic picture of the novel Emma, all the scenes and episodes and events are copies of the nature
Emma adopts the role of a social chronicler and she is not a computerised lady rather she has emotions and passions, it seems that she is a realistic figure in the novel Emma in this way this novel is also called a feminist novel. In a feminist novel which has been written by Jane Austen, we usually find out about women’s problems and their issues, so in this sense, Emma’s novel is a feminist or social novel. She was a good matchmaker but was critically judged by knightly. She thinks that her new friend should marry a nobleman. Jane conveys the general perspective of the people about matrimonial affairs. The women of the middle class were in search of the aristocratic gallants. They think that it would be a source of comfort for them to marry a rich man. There would be no more financial difficulties remaining for them. Therefore they have to marry a rich man. Harriet was always in trouble regarding her proposal. At the start of the novel, she seems to develop a tendency to be attracted by Martin. Martin was a well-reputed farmer in the town and faces no financial issues. Knightly was also in favour of that match. But Emma was thinking that she should marry the Eton. Here Jane wants to depict the complexities of matrimonial affairs.
Jane Austen has a very limited range. She has centred this novel in the midst of Highbury. Emma prefers to be the resident of his town whatsoever. She fulfils her duties while living in that society. Knightly belongs to the landlord class. He is able to perform his duties as a country squire. Emma also suspects the social status of the knightly. She thinks that he is pretending to live a generous life. He has the motive of being not recognized for his actual appearance by the native people. Emma takes her behaviour with the poor people irony of his character. We can see an exchange of critical remarks between them. Knightly favours the position of Martin on his land. He sees him as a respectable farmer. He persuades Emma to create a match between Harriet and Martin. Emma was not convinced by the given idea. She was suspected of the social position of Martin. Eton presents his proposal of marriage to Emma. But she was annoyed at the idea and does not give consent to it.
She thinks that Eton is socially superior to her and she can’t comprehend the match. Here she realizes that Eton is a self-possessed man. Jane Austen is interested to inculcate the values of age of reason in her novels. Emma responds as an anti-romantic figure throughout the novel resisting every new chance and proposal for her. She wants to control her femininity and does not want to reveal her feelings to society.
Emma has a tendency to react against social class barriers. She thinks that society is under the control of the aristocratic class. The inhabitant of the lower class looks towards the upper class in order to get benefits. Social restrictions are even imposed on the characters to act in a particular way. They have to perform their social duties from different perspectives. Frank has to conceal the news of his engagement from society. He does not want to violate the laws of his society and class. Jane was not considered a perfect girl for Frank because he belongs to the upper class. She is performing her duties as the governess. The consciousness of the class barrier is evident through the rejection and acceptance of different matches by the characters. Harriet rejects the proposal of Martin because she is proud of her wealth status. She thinks that she is superior to Martin. She does not respond to the call of her heart because she has some feelings for Martin. She does only exercise her social role being a member of the upper class. Harriet also faces rejection in response to this class system. Eton was also conscious of his status. Jane Austen comments in the novel that; ‘’A Single man, with a very narrow income, must be ridiculous’. Austen shows the perspective of society about choosing their partners. They set a parameter of wealth and high status for making a relationship.
Jane Austen reveals the manners of society by the characters. She assigned different roles to them to act in a particular way. She depicts the natural response of the characters in the given circumstances. She has highlighted the generous behaviour of knightly and kindness towards the lower class. He always favours a match between Harriet and Martin. He seems to be a sensible, generous man to perform his duties in society. On the other hand, Eton shows pride in being a member of a high society. Jane Austen has clearly presented the real image of her society. She is regarded as a realist and a true observer of her society. She uses ironic behaviour to highlight the social aspects of his era.
Emma is a social feminist and realistic novel by Jane Austen which talks about women’s issues. In that era women were confined to their houses only, they have to depend on men
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