In which way is the Box Hill episode (volume 3, chapter 7) relevant in Jane Austen's Emma? Why is the Box Hill episode so important? In which way is it relevant for development of the...

In which way is the Box Hill episode (volume 3, chapter 7) relevant in Jane Austen's Emma?

Why is the Box Hill episode so important? In which way is it relevant for development of the characters/story, especially regarding Emma?

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It is relevant, for in this scene, Emma, for the first time ever, genuinely regrets being cruel to Miss Bates. She makes a public joke at Miss Bates's expense, implying that is rare for Miss Bates only to say three silly things at once. Miss Bates is visibly hurt, and Mr. Knightley later scolds Emma for her unkindness.

Emma, who until now has only looked at Miss Bates as a person who annoys and irritates her is able to hear Mr. Knightley's words. He impresses on her that Miss Bates at one time had money and position of pride in the community. People looked up to her. Now she has gotten older and fallen on hard times. It is easy to ridicule her, and she can't do much to defend herself, as she is...

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