Emma Questions and Answers
by Jane Austen

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What are four extremely important quotes from Emma by Jane Austen?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Emma is filled with important quotes, and various readers will pick and rank various quotes differently; however, I think a safe bet is to pick quotes that highlight particular themes in the book or are especially good at showing the characterization of a specific character.

Love and marriage are two themes that run strongly throughout the text, so I would pick quotes that apply to either of those two themes. Chapter 31 offers two solid quotes about love and Emma's attitude about it by that point...

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xxblacklightxx | Student

thank you so very much

lit24 | Student

1. Ch16: "It was foolish, it was wrong, to take so active a part in bringing any two people together." Emma realises what is wrong with her preoccupation for making matches. She  now realises that she was wrong in thinking that Mr.Elton was attached to Harriet.

2. In Ch.43 :"How could she have been so brutal, so cruel to Miss Bates!" After being reprimanded by Mr.Knightley for insulting Miss Bates at the Box Hill Picnic Emma gives vent to her remorse. It is Emma's most poignant moment in the novel. It is from this moment onwards that she becomes attached to Mr.Knightley.

3. In Ch.47 : "It darted through her mind with the speed of an arrow that Mr.Knightley must marry no one  but herself!" Emma realises that she does not love Mr.Knightley on her own but that it is her jealousy of Harriet that makes her love him.

4. In Ch.49 : " Seldom, very seldom does complete truth belong to any human disclosure." This quotation sums up the message which Jane Austen wishes to communicate to her readers:human speech can never reveal the entire truth. Interpersonal communication is always imperfect and misunderstandings are bound to occur. What is crucial is the sincerity of the feeling and emotion behind the words.