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Analysis

Literary Devices in Emma

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Dances in Austen’s time were intricate group numbers (for a great rendition of dances in Austen’s time, we recommend that you check out the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice)...

Setting

Choosing a tiny, tiny little town as the setting of Emma is not a big stretch for Jane Austen. Come to think of it, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility are all set in pretty...

Narrator Point of View

Austen reserves the right to step into anyone’s mind, but she tends to confine her narrator’s perspective to Emma’s (and occasionally Knightley’s) thoughts. We don’t w...

Genre

Emma is a big mish-mash of funny stuff, love, funny stuff, growing up, and more funny stuff. We could call it high jinks with a good dose of heartbreak. In fact, we think we will. Watching Emma gro...

Tone

Austen’s tone and style are directly linked to her narrator’s voice (see "Point of View/Narrative Voice" above for more on this). As we said earlier, Austen’s narrator seems to tr...

Writing Style

Austen’s sentences are short and sweet – but they sure do pack a wallop. She’s a master of ambiguous sentences which could be a character’s thoughts but could also be the na...

What’s Up With the Title?

Naming a book after its main character makes it easy for us. If you’re asked what the book is about, the easy answer is, "Emma." Obviously. Naming a novel after a main character wasn’t...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Well, Emma’s wedding isn’t really a big surprise, is it? Instead of spending the next few minutes blabbing about the nature of true love, then, let’s talk some trash about Mrs. El...

Plot Analysis

Emma enjoys setting up her friends.Explanation/Discussion: Harriet Smith, Emma’s new friend, seems to be a blank slate. No one knows where she came from or who her parents might be. For Emma,...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

Emma refuses to believe that she could fall in love; she also believes herself to be the center of Highbury society.Emma is a comedy for a few reasons. For one, it’s funny. For another, it re...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Emma befriends Harriet Smith and decides to set her up with Mr. Elton. Elton proposes to Emma instead.Frank Churchill, the dashing young son of Emma’s friend Mr. Weston, seems like the perfec...

Trivia

Here’s Ralph Waldo Emerson’s opinion of Jane Austen: "I am at a loss to understand why people hold Miss Austen's novels at so high a rate, which seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in ar...

Steaminess Rating

You should be ashamed of yourselves! How dare you even think about the s-word? Don’t you know that this is the nineteenth century? We’re blushing for you!We’re just kidding. There...

Allusions

William Cowper (41.1)William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (9.25)David Garrick, "Kitty, a Fair but Frozen Maid" (9.54)Agricultural Reports (4.10)Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakef...
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