What is the relationship of form and meaning in Emma by Jane Austen?
When you ask about "form and meaning," you are asking a critical analysis question from the perspective of Formalism critical theory. Formalists (form-alists) attempted to evaluate literary texts (especially poetry) in an objective (scientific) way that excluded consideration of (1) the author's biography and intentions and excluded consideration of (2) the social, economic and political influences and realities of the literary work's era.
To understand this, think of how Gulliver's Travels was critically analyzed in the 1800s (19th century). It was/is typically analyzed as a political and social satire aimed at critiquing British society and government by comparing it to imaginary other societies. The work was not analyzed for form (as defined by formalists); it was not examined to see if or why it stood up to the idea of literariness (as defined by formalists). Formalists sought to change this trend and analyze literature based on how its form gives it meaning without reference to anything...
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