by Jane Austen
Emma Marriage Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Oh! to be sure […] it is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for any body who asks her. (8.34)
Emma frequently says things that are bitingly accurate – and completely out of context.
Fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want. I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband's house as I am of Hartfield; and never, never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's. (10.14)
Emma’s position is indeed enviable – at least from Harriet’s perspective. But even Harriet recognizes a hole in Emma’s plans which Emma herself can’t seem to see. Again, note how good she is at saying what she doesn’t need – not what she does.
But, my dear papa, you are no friend to matrimony; and therefore why should you be so anxious to pay your respects to a bride? […] It is encouraging people to marry if you make so much of them. (32.55)
Emma exploits the tension between Mr. Woodhouse’s fine sense of social responsibility and his selfishness in this passage. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the bride in question is Mrs. Elton!