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Niamh
04-09-2007, 03:05 PM
I am a big fan of Jane Austen but in reality being a fan doesnt mean one is going to like every book the Author has written. For me this book is Emma. I find most of the characters are flat, selfish disagreeable, unlikeable and a bit boring. And to make matters worse the main character is just iritating. If there are others out there who also didnt like this novel and would like to join me in a discussion about it, please feel free to post your opinion!:D

manolia
04-09-2007, 03:27 PM
:) Hi Niamh!

I wish i could contribute to the discussion (that will take place) but i haven't read this one yet. I have baught the book a few months ago but other books get in my way all the time. But what you say about Emma sounds familiar, you know.;)

Matrim Cuathon
04-11-2007, 06:45 PM
Emma is my favorite Austen book :)

Nightshade
04-12-2007, 03:44 AM
Emma wasnt written to be likable... the charcter that is, and she wasnt I need to reread all the austens really its been nearly 2 years since Ive read some of them 3 since Ive read Lady Susana.... But I never was that fond of Emmas charcters but as I rember it the great thing about that book is the little things Austen drops in when shes describing people and things. I rember a essay thing I read on it that said that Emma was Austens cry for help .

Lote-Tree
04-12-2007, 03:52 AM
I am a big fan of Jane Austen but in reality being a fan doesnt mean one is going to like every book the Author has written. For me this book is Emma. I find most of the characters are flat, selfish disagreeable, unlikeable and a bit boring. And to make matters worse the main character is just iritating. If there are others out there who also didnt like this novel and would like to join me in a discussion about it, please feel free to post your opinion!:D

Perhaps Emma is what all women want to be but can't?

Virgil
04-12-2007, 07:04 AM
Sorry Niamh, I too like Emma. I actually like it more than Rride and Predjudice. I thought it a great novel.

Niamh
04-12-2007, 10:37 AM
I think i'm own my own with this one! i know many people that like Emma, but for some reason i Just couldnt enjoy the book like the rest of Austens books. Maybe it had to do with the fact that i couldn't relate to her the same way i can with others.
To Make matters worse for me, after admitting to myself that i didnt like it, i discovered i was going to study it for my leaving certificate examination in English, which made me dislike it even more. Two years of studying a book that i hadnt like much in the first place is kind of a killer of all chances that i'd end up liking it in the future. I even gave it another chance last year when i reread all of austen novels and still i had no feelings for it at the end. I'll always give it a chance, and did only recently see a dramatisation of it, but for me i dont think there will ever be a great love. And deffinately not like the one i have for Persuasion.:)

Scheherazade
04-12-2007, 10:58 AM
Niam,

How old were you when you read Emma? I am wondering if liking Emma and Emma requires some kind of 'earthly' maturity and seasoning... because I know many younger readers who dislike Emma. P&P and EB are easy to like but the issues dealt in Emma are not easy to detect.

Maybe if you gave it another try now, you might like it or, at least, your dislike may not be as strong?

Lioness_Heart
04-12-2007, 11:17 AM
Emma is one of my least favourite Austen novels, mostly because I find the main character quite hard to empathise with, whereas I find most of her other heroines easy to relate to. But in a way, that is an important part of her characterissation, so I guess it might be a good thing... I just don't enjoy reading the book as much as some of the others.

Virgil
04-12-2007, 11:41 AM
Let me ask this: Is empathizing with the central character important in liking and appreciating a work?

I'm not sure I empathize with Achilles in Homer's Illiad, but I think it's a great work.

Lioness_Heart
04-12-2007, 11:49 AM
Let me ask this: Is empathizing with the central character important in liking and appreciating a work?

I'm not sure I empathize with Achilles in Homer's Illiad, but I think it's a great work.

I'm not sure... empathising with them makes the book easier to get into, and easier to understand the character. I find that that often makes the events in the book have a greater impact. Although sometimes, I guess it is better not to be able to empathise with a character, in order to have a more objective view on what is going on. I suppose that it really depends on what kind of book it is...

I think taht it is easier to like a work with a central character that you can empathise with, but that it isn't essential overall.

Lote-Tree
04-12-2007, 11:55 AM
Characteristics of Jane Austen's Emma:

Very Pretty
Clever
Intellectual
High Spirited
Wealthy

Though I admit she was born into wealth - apart from that Emma is quite challenging. She is very much an individual. She does not need a man to be women. So in that respects she is admirable and even dignifying.

Lioness_Heart
04-12-2007, 12:04 PM
Characteristics of Jane Austen's Emma:

Very Pretty
Clever
Intellectual
High Spirited
Wealthy

Though I admit she was born into wealth - apart from that Emma is quite challenging. She is very much an individual. She does not need a man to be women. So in that respects she is admirable and even dignifying.


But she has lots of negative aspects too: she is interfering, opinionated, and is also in many ways shallow, basing a great deal of emphasis on a person's social status. Although she has many admirable qualities, Jane Austen has made her into a character with many flaws.

Lote-Tree
04-12-2007, 12:24 PM
But she has lots of negative aspects too: she is interfering, opinionated, and is also in many ways shallow, basing a great deal of emphasis on a person's social status.


Yes she is not Mother Teresa for sure.

But is being able to have opinions a negative trait?

She lived in a time when men had all the power so her having opinions is quite remarkable thing is it not?

As for shallowness - Can High Spiritedness and Intellect make one shallow? In her time a person's social status was very important...but even now a person's social status is regarded as still important...

Lioness_Heart
04-12-2007, 12:33 PM
Yes she is not Mother Teresa for sure.

But is being able to have opinions a negative trait?

She lived in a time when men had all the power so her having opinions is quite remarkable thing is it not?

As for shallowness - Can High Spiritedness and Intellect make one shallow? In her time a person's social status was very important...but even now a person's social status is regarded as still important...

True, but she was opinionated in that she did not base her opinions on fact, and her shallowness is mainly with regard to how judgemental she could be, like with her trying to persuade Harriet not to marry that farmer guy (i've forgotten his name).

Virgil
04-12-2007, 01:05 PM
I'm not sure... empathising with them makes the book easier to get into, and easier to understand the character. I find that that often makes the events in the book have a greater impact. Although sometimes, I guess it is better not to be able to empathise with a character, in order to have a more objective view on what is going on. I suppose that it really depends on what kind of book it is...

I think taht it is easier to like a work with a central character that you can empathise with, but that it isn't essential overall.

I agree with everything you say there Lioness.

Also, good discussion here on this thread.

Nightshade
04-12-2007, 01:06 PM
but she wasnt meant to be likable... The ones Ive read the most being P&P E, P, and MP Emma is perhaps my least favorite... and Mansfield park was always my post favourite but I think maybe this changes with time and maybe when I reread all her novels again ( and Love and freindship((her spelling )) for the first time) this summer my favourite might change.

Niamh
04-12-2007, 02:02 PM
Niam,

How old were you when you read Emma? I am wondering if liking Emma and Emma requires some kind of 'earthly' maturity and seasoning... because I know many younger readers who dislike Emma. P&P and EB are easy to like but the issues dealt in Emma are not easy to detect.

Maybe if you gave it another try now, you might like it or, at least, your dislike may not be as strong?

I was 16 when i read Emma,(24 now) but i dont think maturity has anything to do with my not liking it, and as for giving it another try i did last year and my views are still basicly the same. :)


I even gave it another chance last year when i reread all of austen novels and still i had no feelings for it at the end.

Where Northanger Abbey has grown on me, My opinion of Emma has only changed in one aspect, and thats is that i'd love to know that story form Jane Fairfax's perspective.
Like Lioness heart, i too could not empitise with her character; her snobbishness, over-aultered state of importance, her impoper interference in the lives of those around her and her rudeness to those if lower standing just didnt bode well with me and meant that from chapter one it wasnt going to be love for me.:bawling: :)

Nightshade, i am also like that. books becoming more or less a favourite everytime you read them. But persuasion has always been my favourite. Its always Pride and Prejudice and mansfield Park that fight for the next slot!:D

Lote-Tree
04-12-2007, 02:59 PM
True, but she was opinionated in that she did not base her opinions on fact,...


Ah! But how many do? :-)

Are we not all having opinions on myriad of things in our own life without ever actually checking the facts? :-)

But I take your point.



and her shallowness is mainly with regard to how judgemental she could be, like with her trying to persuade Harriet not to marry that farmer guy (i've forgotten his name).

But we are all capable of being judgemental. But Emma with her intellect and accompolishments is in a position to be judgemental :-)

But again I take your point :-)

Regards,
Lote

vgal
08-06-2007, 08:36 AM
I agree with you on this one. Despite all the other faults in Emma, the one that really irritates is her selfishness; how she selfishly uses Harriet and then dispenses with her finally. Harriet's character shows much more steadiness in friendship and righteousness than Emma could ever aspire for.

Even minor characters such as Mrs. Elton come through as more humane, i.e., her attempts at helping Jane Fairfax are honest though showy. Emma continuously aspires to do good by the less fortunate, all the while doing exactly the opposite, and the worst of the lot is her ill use of Harriet towards the final chapters.

Sir Bartholomew
08-12-2007, 08:34 PM
the Eltons' attempt to help Jane Fairfax is obviously a plan to make Emma's life less "handsome"; a possible vengeance after Emma's dumping of Mr. Elton. Their immediate admiration of Jane Fairfax is questionable, at Mrs Elton's case: weird and obssesive. Both Emma and Mrs Elton are snobs, both think they are the bell of Highbury, but better readers can detect the root of their actions and motives. Emma the novel, for me, is a study of the different levels of snobbery; those who are born with an ingrained knowledge of high importance (spoilt brats) who in spite of their good intentions make hazards after hazards, and those who, like the Eltons, are merely social climbers, base and false.

Mr.
10-06-2007, 05:37 PM
Emma is not a very likable person, but I had a feeling that there was something good at her core, even when she was in the deepest depths of her blinding selfishness. I think her transformation makes her into a much more likable person, and brings out her good qualities, even though it is sad that she has to love a man in order to do so. I think that bit might have just been a sign of the times though.

marjanne
10-21-2007, 12:28 PM
As this book nears its 200 year mark, I think it holds up well and is a fascinating character study. I read everyday and do not care how long a book is as long as I learn something new about people and history.The payoff is not always how a book ends but the getting there. It is sort of like the saying "Stop and smell the roses".

SleepyWitch
03-24-2008, 10:07 AM
Characteristics of Jane Austen's Emma:

Very Pretty
Clever
Intellectual
High Spirited
Wealthy

Though I admit she was born into wealth - apart from that Emma is quite challenging. She is very much an individual. She does not need a man to be women. So in that respects she is admirable and even dignifying.

hm.. I'm not sure she's all that intellectual. I must admit I've only read 50 pages so far... in one place it says that age 7 she was able to understand ideas her older sister didn't understand, but there is no concrete example (like there often aren't any concrete examples or details in Austen's books). so we just have to take the narrator's word for it. but on the other hand, the same narrator tells + Mrs Weston tell us that Emma is lazy and pretends to be more accomplished than she really is.
as for "pretty".. well, she seems to have "the true hazel eye", regular features and good teeth. so yeah, she's pretty, but not stunningly beautiful. plus, being pretty or (born) wealthy are a matter of accident, they aren't really characteristics that recommend her to me.

all in all, I think what makes this book difficult to read is that you can't relate to the main character (as several posters said). I'll try to finish the book anyway and I'm actually enjoying it (more or less), but it requires a kind of distance and sophistication which I normally don't find easy to muster while reading a book.
Personally, I read all books the same way, whether they are "literature" or "pulp/entertainment/..". Even though "literature" books are harder to read, I normally don't find it hard to relate to the characters. On the other hand, I can relate to e.g. Hannibal Lecter just as easily, although he's a cannibal and murderer. I still find him more likable than Emma :blush:

hard times
05-03-2008, 02:54 AM
yes i with you in your opinion it is very boring character.i felt i'm dying to finish the first 50 pages

elsie-may
06-02-2008, 05:41 AM
i have only just read emma, my sister has only just bought it down from melbourne for me[as i am to chespo to buy it] and i loved emma, the person. i love the movies too. but i think that mr knightley is the most sweetest person ever. mr darcy has nothing on mr knightley! i love it all and have read twice in one week. i think she is a little bit selfish at times, but i forgive those faults of hers because she is amazing!

sofia82
06-02-2008, 06:34 AM
It was the first novel I read by Austen. Although I got angry because of the way Emma treats other people especially Harriet, interfering with others affairs, and trying to be a kind of matchmaker, I like the character; but I prefer persuation. I don't know what will be my opinion if i re-read them again.