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Quotes

Quote #4

[…] she meant to shine and be very superior, but with manners which had been formed in a bad school, pert and familiar; […] that if not foolish she was ignorant, and that her society would certainly do Mr. Elton no good. (32.15)

The narrator’s evaluation of Mrs. Elton here seems to mirror Emma’s own – a parallel that helps us to establish Emma as the central character of the novel.

Quote #5

No, Emma, your amiable young man can be amiable only in French, not in English. He may be very 'aimable,' have very good manners, and be very agreeable; but he can have no English delicacy towards the feelings of other people: nothing really amiable about him." (18.28)

Mr. Knightley’s allusion to French standards of manners suggests his wisdom in recognizing different codes of conduct – and implies that he’s a true English gentleman.

Quote #6

There is always a look of consciousness or bustle when people come in a way which they know to be beneath them. (26.10)

Emma is as critical of Knightley as she is of Frank. Any man of substance should, in her mind, carry himself as a man of substance – which includes driving to parties in a nice carriage.

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