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by Jane Austen

Emma Society and Class Quotes

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

Quote #1

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.

Quote #2

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.

Quote #3

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.

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