Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 607
1. What is Mrs. Weston’s response to the secret engagement?
2. What is Emma’s response?
3. What is Emma’s concern for the family that was to employ Jane?
4. Why does Emma blush when the name Dixon is uttered?
5. What is Emma referring to with her quote, “the world is not their’s, nor the world’s law?”
6. Why do Mr. Knightley’s prophetic words, “Emma, you have been no friend to Harriet Smith” haunt her?
7. What other mistake did Emma make when she assumed Harriet and she were talking about Frank Churchill, not Mr. Knightley?
8. What two incidents convince Harriet that Mr. Knightley has singled her out for his affections?
9. How does Emma interpret Mr. Knightley’s inquiring as to the state of Harriet’s affections?
10. What are Emma’s regrets about Robert Martin?
1. Mr. and Mrs. Weston have made no secret that they wished Frank would marry Emma. Mrs. Weston says part of his behavior cannot be excused, because she watched him flirt with Emma for the past six months. Such duplicity is difficult to forgive, even if Frank Churchill is her stepson.
2. To avoid hurting Mrs. Weston any more, Emma tells her that early in their acquaintance, she was attracted to Frank, but for the past three months has been immune to him.
3. Emma cannot believe Jane would leave the family without a governess, but Mrs. Weston swears Jane was sincere when she accepted the position, and that when Frank heard of her plans, he decided to come forward and tell his uncle the truth.
4. Emma reviews all her transgressions toward Jane and feels ashamed. She had suspected an affair with Jane and her married brother-in-law Mr. Dixon and taunted her with it in veiled accusations. Emma guessed Jane had a secret lover, but it was Frank, not Dixon.
5. Emma finds the greatest offense with this secret engagement is not the duplicity or selfishness, but the audacity this young couple has in flaunting the social conventions that govern society. For this, Emma cannot forgive them.
6. Emma is beginning to feel that she has risked Harriet’s happiness on “insufficient grounds.” There never was more than a slim chance that Frank Churchill would consider Harriet a marriage prospect. She can dismiss Jane Fairfax and the bother she caused, because Jane will soon be out of her hair. But Harriet is still a fixture in her life.
7. The magnitude of Emma’s folly is becoming clear to her. She assumed when she and Harriet referred to the “service” rendered her, she was speaking of Frank’s saving her from the gypsies. Harriet was just as clear that she meant Mr. Knightley’s dancing with her at the ball when Mr. Elton ignored her and had referred to it as an “obligation.”
8. During the walk at Donwell Abbey, Mr. Knightley took Harriet aside and seemed to be asking if her affections were engaged. Then, on the morning he left for London, he told her that though he had to go, it was against his inclination. This was a sentiment he had not shared with Emma. Emma feels that Mr. Knightley confides in Harriet more than her.
9. Emma wonders if Mr. Knightley is asking her about Robert Martin. Harriet dismisses the idea. She tells Emma she is cured of Robert Martin. Evidently, Emma has set Harriet against her class, as Mr. Knightley predicted she would.
10. Emma regrets ever bringing Harriet out into society. She knows now she should have left her to marry Mr. Martin, who, though unexceptionable, would have made her “happy and respectable in the line of life to which she ought to belong.”
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