| Quote #4
Isabella, passing her life with those she doated on, full of their merits, blind to their faults, and always innocently busy, might have been a model of right feminine happiness. (17.1)
Isabella may be a perfect woman, but she’s not a very interesting one. There’s a reason why Emma is the protagonist of this story.
| Quote #5
Oh! the blessing of a female correspondent, when one is really interested in the absent! (30.36)
Besides the obvious sexism of this statement (women are the only ones around with time to write letters), Austen might be alluding to the way that women are frequently the storytellers in this text. Sort of like Austen herself.
| Quote #6
[…] I was not thinking of the slave-trade […] the governess-trade, I assure you, was all that I had in view; widely different certainly as to the guilt of those who carry it on; but as to the greater misery of the victims, I do not know where it lies. (35.15)
The life of a working woman was one to be shunned. By allowing Mrs. Elton to compare the life of a governess to that of a slave, however, Austen might be expressing an isolated (and privileged) view of relative social injustices.