| Quote #1
Matrimony, as the origin of change, was always disagreeable [...] (1.11)
For Mr. Woodhouse, marriage is the one agent of change which can still trouble him.
| Quote #2
A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter. (7.31)
Emma, a well-off young woman, has the ability to refuse offers of marriage. Other women (like Jane and Harriet) are not so lucky.
| Quote #3
Sorrow came—a gentle sorrow—but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness.—Miss Taylor married. It was Miss Taylor's loss which first brought grief. (1.5)
Any novel that centers on marriage must have an opponent to union. Mr. Woodhouse describes marriage as a form of separation, not union.