Emma Questions and Answers
by Jane Austen

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Please write about Emma's education in Emma.

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Emma is, in part, a critique of upperclass women's education. More than one scholar has traced Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women, a work which argues for better education for women, as a source for Austen's novel.

Emma is educated by her governess, Miss Taylor, who, as the novel opens, has married and become Mrs. Weston. Miss Taylor is a kind-hearted woman, but acts more as a companion than authority figure to her motherless charge.

We learn that Emma draws up many plans for diligently pursuing reading, but never follows through on them. She can read and write, paint and play the piano, but she has never been disciplined enough in any of these activities to do them well. The novel implies that Emma's haphazard education contributes to her half-baked attempts at matchmaking. Bored and half-educated, she makes what could have been serious trouble for Harriet Smith with her interference, except that, like in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which Emma misquotes, the story is a...

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