Jane Austen takes the view-point of her heroines. Examine the validity of this statement with reference to Emma.

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Jane Austen does not take the viewpoint of her heroine in the novel Emma. The novel is a comic study of point of view. The heroine, Emma, gets everything wrong. Austen tricks the reader into identifying with Emma and believing what she believes in the case of Frank Churchill--or, in an opposite case, the comedy plays on the audience seeing how disastrously wrong Emma is in steering Harriet away from Robert Martin, the honest farmer, and toward the pretentious Mr. Elton. The novel plays on the slippage between what Emma believes--her own comic misreading of events--and what Austen, the author, knows to be true. It's been called the first mystery novel, in that Austen leaves ample clues for the reader (and Emma) as to what's really going on, but we and she miss them--the joke is on us. As Virginia Woolf says, Austen wrote with laughter in her voice. 

It's important too to remember that a frame for the novel is A Midsummer's Night Dream, Shakespeare's comic study of mishaps and misunderstandings in love. We know this play is a frame, because Emma quotes (or misquotes) a line from the play: "the course of true love never did run smooth" and because an important plot point takes place on Midsummer's day during the strawberry picking party at Donwell (of course, Emma misses the real action). With that frame in mind, it's easier to see the small village of Highbury as the enchanted woods of Shakespeare's play, a place of comic mix-ups, but because of Emma's misreadings of events, not because of faeries and sprites.

Pride and Prejudice is the Austen novel closest to Emma in its study of a lead character, Elizabeth Bennet, who is blinded by prejudice into misreading Mr. Darcy... and Charlotte ... and Wickham. 

Both novels invite readers to question what they believe and why, in novels and in life. Looking particularly at Emma, we see how she is blinded by her own limitations-- for example, she has never been farther than a few miles from her hometown of Highbury--in addition, she has been flattered, fawned on, treated as if she is special, and encouraged to over-value her own judgment, and she has a vested interest in reading events in ways that align with her own ego gratification and desires. As her desires blind us, Austen suggests that all our viewpoints are skewed and unreliable, and cautions that have to be careful what we believe.