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by Jane Austen

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Quote #7

Time will generally lessen the interest of every attachment not within the daily circle[…] (34.23)

Given that social circles in Highbury are so very small, it’s fitting that a character from London should utter this. Austen seems to be emphasizing, again, how a small group of people can seem to comprise an entire world.

Quote #8

She had an unhappy state of health in general for the child of such a man, for she hardly knew what indisposition was; and if he did not invent illnesses for her, she could make no figure in a message. (39.14)

Everyone creates their own delusions. If Emma imagines potential matches for everyone, then her father imagines illnesses for all of his loved ones.

Quote #9

Emma was aware that great must be the difference between a Mrs. Weston, only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house; and with all her advantages, natural and domestic, she was now in great danger of suffering from intellectual solitude. She dearly loved her father, but he was no companion for her. He could not meet her in conversation, rational or playful. (1.7)

Ironically, Emma never seems to value blood relations. Family is as often silly as it is truly comforting.

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