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Emma Chapter Forty-Eight Summary
Emma spends a good deal more time (and a good portion of this chapter) re-thinking everything that has happened in the past few months. Now that she might lose Mr. Knightley, Emma understands how much he means to her. It’s unthinkable that he might not have her first in his affections, as he has for so long! Moreover, Harriet wouldn’t even realize what a good man she had. How can you move from liking Mr. Elton to liking Mr. Knightley? It’s like comparing cheez-whiz to caviar. (OK, maybe you like cheez-whiz. Who are we to judge? But you get our point.) Emma allows herself to mope all day. Luckily, Mrs. Weston comes to call. She’s just been to see her future daughter-in-law. She tells Emma that Jane was initially very ashamed and awkward, but she eventually told Mrs. Weston all about her love for Frank. Emma immediately pities Jane. It’s clear that Frank doesn’t know – or doesn’t care – how much damage a secret engagement could do to his reputation. Jane, however, cares deeply. Emma regrets her actions for the past few months all over again. Honestly, the only thing separating Emma’s fate from Jane’s is money. Emma spends some time thinking about how horrible Jane’s position must have been. It begins to rain. (It always rains in novels when life sucks.) Alone again, Emma thinks about how everyone will soon leave her. Mrs. Weston is having a baby, which means that she won’t come over nearly as often and that her attention will always be elsewhere. Jane and Frank will soon leave. And Harriet…and Mr. Knightley… For the first time, we see Emma regretting the fact that she’s left alone with a crotchety father. She can see her future mapped out for her. Day after day after day exactly the same – alone.
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