Emma Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis
by Jane Austen

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Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

New Characters: Emma Woodhouse: the protagonist of the novel

Mr. Woodhouse: Emma’s father

Mr. Knightley: neighbor and welcome visitor

Emma Woodhouse and her father dine at their estate of Hartfield without Emma’s former governess, Miss Taylor, whom this very day married Mr. Weston and moved half a mile down the road. Mr. Knightley pays a call. While Mr. Woodhouse grieves over the marriage that he views as an unfortunate change, Emma points out its positive benefits and claims to have arranged it. Mr. Knightley doubts her claim, suggesting the two parties were drawn to each other naturally. Emma remains convinced of her match-making and tells them she is going to do the same for Mr. Elton.

This chapter introduces life on a country estate. Though Emma was schooled by a governess, we see that she was also spoiled and indulged by her, as well as her father. Mr. Knightley brings a fresh attitude toward her because he points out her faults.