by Jane Austen
Emma Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. (1.1)
Beginning with a perfect beginning is a sure sign that things are going to take a detour soon! Most importantly, this description of Emma focuses on the stability of her home and social situation.
It was an unsuitable connection, and did not produce much happiness. (2.4)
"Unsuitable" because the wife was rich and the husband poor, Mr. Weston’s first marriage becomes a cautionary tale about the need for social situations to be similar in order for love to actually exist.
Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be happy to see her respectably settled. I wish her extremely well and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to—Every body has their level but as for myself, I am not, I think, quite so much at a loss. (15.36)
Even Mr. Elton has a strong sense of how Harriet fits into a social hierarchy. Emma’s affection (and her determination) blinds her as to Harriet’s prospects.