Study Guide

Emma Chapter Thirty-One

By Jane Austen

Chapter Thirty-One

  • In which Emma thinks a lot about love:
  • OK, so Emma’s decided that she’s in love. Who wouldn’t be?
  • Frank is obviously meant for her.
  • And he’s cute.
  • And he will be rich, if the old aunt will ever get around to dying.
  • Why, then, isn’t she more excited? There are no butterflies in her stomach.
  • After considering her state for a few days, Emma decides that she’s just the right amount in love – she’s not crazy about Frank, but, well, a girl’s only got so many options! And she did imagine once that he would be perfect…
  • A letter from Frank arrives at Mrs. Weston’s house.
  • As we’ve mentioned before, everybody is into everybody else’s business in this town. Emma, of course, reads the letter.
  • Frank writes very, very nicely. In fact, he’s a perfect gentleman on paper.
  • Emma notes that Frank says good things about Harriet in his letter. Could he…? And Harriet?
  • Hmm…it’s an interesting idea. Emma gives up her (supposed) love interest in Frank. After all, arranging a match is just so much more interesting than being in one.
  • Harriet’s still moping about Mr. Elton. Let’s be honest – Eeyore is probably more well-adjusted than Harriet.
  • Emma argues that Harriet’s fixation on Mr. Elton is actually a slap in the face to Emma, which snaps Harriet out of her misery. In Harriet’s world, Mr. Elton might be perfect, but Miss Woodhouse – well, Miss Woodhouse is in a class of her own.
  • Luckily, Emma feels exactly the same way.