Study Guide

Emma Chapter Fifty-Three

By Jane Austen

Chapter Fifty-Three

  • Mrs. Weston has a baby girl (Anna).
  • Emma’s delighted.
  • As she tells Mr. Knightley, Mrs. Weston will have a chance to try again with a new girl.
  • Of course, Mr. Knightley has to say some things about how loveable Emma is now.
  • Even he admits, though, that she was a pretty spoiled kid.
  • By now, we’re sure that many of you are starting to think that Mr. Knightley sounds a lot like Mr. Big. (For those of you who don’t watch Sex in the City, Big is a man with no apparent real name.) Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here. Big’s first name is John. Knightley’s first name is George.
  • As Emma declares, however, she’ll never call him anything but Mr. Knightley.
  • (We’re not really sure why. George is a perfectly nice name.)
  • Mr. Knightley receives a letter from his brother congratulating him about the engagement.
  • It’s clear that Mr. John Knightley thinks that Mr. Knightley is getting the short end of the stick.
  • Surprisingly, Emma agrees. She’s lucky to have Mr. Knightley.
  • There’s one last problem: how should Emma tell her father?
  • She plans to enlist the Westons’ help, but finally she manages to gather up enough courage to tell Mr. Woodhouse on her own.
  • He’s devastated, naturally.
  • But he does like Mr. Knightley more than anyone (except Emma, of course).
  • And he does like to have him around all the time.
  • Perhaps this won’t be as devastating as he originally thought.
  • Fortunately, the Westons are very excited about the news.
  • Mr. Weston (who is, we’ve figured out, probably a bigger gossip than Miss Bates) tells the entire town.
  • Mrs. Elton foresees a disastrous future for them.
  • If she hates something, it must be a good sign!

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