Emma Questions and Answers
by Jane Austen

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In Emma, Mr. Knightley says to Emma, "I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it like no other woman in England might have borne it" (page 403). To what extent do you agree? Use examples from the whole text to support your response.

It is true that Mr. Knightley has blamed and lectured Emma. She has borne his criticism with apparent equanimity, but she is inwardly deeply perturbed, particularly when he rebukes her for her treatment of Miss Bates at Box Hill. Emma is deeply affected by Mr. Knightley’s criticism, because she knows it is justified and she values his good opinion.

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There is no doubt that Mr. Knightley has blamed and lectured Emma , but the reader might feel that many other women in England might have borne his strictures with more equanimity than Emma does. This is partly because the reader is able to see into Emma’s thoughts with a clarity denied to any of the other characters (though perhaps Mr. Knightley and Mrs. Weston come close). However, Emma’s reactions to Mr. Knightley’s scolding are shaped by the fact that she...

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