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by Jane Austen

Emma Wealth Quotes

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

Quote #1

[…] a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else. (10.18)

Jane Fairchild’s potential fate shows us how different a single woman who is not of good fortune can expect her life to be. Emma never really has to consider such sad possibilities.

Quote #2

[…] a very narrow income has a tendency to contract the mind, and sour the temper. Those who can barely live, and who live perforce in a very small, and generally very inferior, society, may well be illiberal and cross. (10.18)

Austen’s characters often take a very pragmatic view about finances. Without money, you can’t afford to be pleasurable. Therefore, any happy marriage has to take money into account.

Quote #3

[…] where little minds belong to rich people in authority, I think they have a knack of swelling out, till they are quite as unmanageable as great ones. (18.21)

Emma displays precocious knowledge of the dangers of wealth – even if she never seems to question the dangers of her own (similar) situation.

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