From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Jane Austen


Character Role Analysis


We know, we know. We’re double-dipping. But Emma’s actually her own worst enemy. (Mrs. Elton is probably a close second, but we’re not going to dignify her with the honor.) At the end of the day – or more specifically, at the end of the novel – Emma’s the only character that’s strong enough to pose a potential threat to her own well-being. Think about it: she manages to talk herself out of loving Frank before he can ditch her, she slaps Mr. Elton aside like a wet dishrag, and she even manages to convince Harriet that poor girls can be princesses. After all of that, who could stand in Emma’s way? As it turns out, Emma herself. Convinced that she never needs to marry, Emma forgets completely about her need for love. That’s where most of her problems begin.