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by Jane Austen

Emma Respect and Reputation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Harriet Smith was the natural daughter of somebody. […]This was all that was generally known of her history (3.9)

Illegitimacy should cross Harriet off of any respectable person’s list of acquaintances. Emma’s either particularly sympathetic – or particularly pig-headed – in her determination to imagine a good family for Harriet.

Quote #2

She was not much deceived as to her own skill either as an artist or a musician, but she was not unwilling to have others deceived, or sorry to know her reputation for accomplishment often higher than it deserved. (6.19)

Emma’s vanity never extends to self – deception, which our narrator extends as a sign of hope that she’ll change with time.

Quote #3

What is right to be done cannot be done too soon. (23. 40)

Mr. Weston’s words, especially when directed at Frank, seem rather ironic. As we learn, too much of the plot turns on the deferral of doing (or thinking) the right things about people whose social positions don’t protect them from derision.

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