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by Jane Austen

Analysis: What’s Up With the Title?

Naming a book after its main character makes it easy for us. If you’re asked what the book is about, the easy answer is, "Emma." Obviously. Naming a novel after a main character wasn’t really Austen’s style, though – most of her books bear titles which are also emotions (Pride and Prejudice, for example). So why Emma? Maybe Austen got tired of thinking up feelings for her characters – or maybe Emma’s too complex of a character to pin down easily. Either way, as soon as Austen names her novel after Emma, we expect everything to revolve around her. That’s lucky, because she does too.

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