Study Guide

Emma Chapter Fifteen

By Jane Austen

Chapter Fifteen

  • After dinner, Mr. Woodhouse is itching to get home – it’s all Emma can do to keep him in his seat.
  • The gentlemen leave to smoke on their own while the women wait in the parlor (no one ever said the nineteenth century was fair).
  • Mr. Elton bursts back into the parlor and cozies up to Emma and Mrs. Weston in a very, very strange manner.
  • He sits on a loveseat with them and starts to tease Emma. It’s all very improper.
  • He even wants Emma to promise him to take care of herself. (Insert sappy '80s love song here.)
  • Emma, of course, decides to ignore him.
  • It’s snowing! Mr. Woodhouse panics and demands to go home immediately.
  • In the bustle to leave, Emma somehow manages to get stuck in a carriage alone.
  • With Mr. Elton.
  • In case we forgot to mention it, a single girl alone with a single guy is a HUGE no-no.
  • Here’s why: Mr. Elton promptly starts to proposition Emma, using every bad cliché in the book.
  • Astonished and angry, Emma accuses him of falsely leading Harriet on.
  • Mr. Elton, astonished and angry in turn, declares that he would never think of slumming so low. He never liked Harriet – only Emma (and, of course, Emma’s cash. But let’s ignore that for now).
  • Awkward silence. Awkward silence.
  • The carriage drops Mr. Elton off, leaving Emma alone with her thoughts.

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