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Emma

Emma

by Jane Austen

Love Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"There does seem to be a something in the air of Hartfield which gives love exactly the right direction, and sends it into the very channel where it ought to flow.
The course of true love never did run smooth—
A Hartfield edition of Shakespeare would have a long note on that passage." (9.25)

Emma’s reference to Shakespeare might suggest the level of involvement she has in manipulating her fellow characters (through her romantic matchmaking) as players on a stage.

Quote #2

Harriet’s love life – she sees herself as the director (or even the writer) of a play.
She had talked her into love; but, alas! she was not so easily to be talked out of it. (22.9)

Once the imagination is captured, it becomes hard to undo its effects. Harriet, for all her simplicity, finds it even harder to give up on an idea than Emma does.

Quote #3

[…] there was nothing to denote him unworthy of the distinguished honour which her imagination had given him; the honour, if not of being really in love with her, of being at least very near it, and saved only by her own indifference—(for still her resolution held of never marrying)—the honour, in short, of being marked out for her by all their joint acquaintance. (25.2)

Emma’s fantasies about Frank are all iterated in negative constructions; "nothing," "not," and "in-" pepper her conclusions. It’s a strange – and perhaps compromised – version of a love declaration.

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