Chapters 48-49 Questions and Answers

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 584

Study Questions
1. Why does Emma say that Mr. Knightley has tried to improve her and wanted her to do right “as no other creature had at all shared?”

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2. Why would Emma be content if Mr. Knightley stayed single?

3. Why does Emma banish Harriet from Hartfield?

4. Why does Emma exclaim “Poor girl!” in referring to Jane Fairfax?

5. What contributed to Jane Fairfax’s burden during her secret engagement?

6. Why does Emma think Mr. Knightley is neither cheerful and not communicative when he returns from London?

7. Why does Mr. Knightley call Frank an “abominable scoundrel?”

8. Why does he refer to him as “a favorite of fortune?”

9. Why does Emma skirt the topic of Mr. Knightley’s envy?

10. What event triggered Mr. Knightley’s departure for London?

Answers
1. Emma knows very well that she is spoiled and indulged. Her father can find no fault with her, and her governess, Miss Taylor, now Mrs. Weston, never enforced any discipline or enlarged her mind to any degree. Everyone in her immediate circle yields to Emma except Mr. Knightley.

2. Emma knows she can’t control Harriet anymore. She can’t tell her not to marry whomever she chooses, and Harriet has her hopes pinned on Mr. Knightley. Emma has never been able to control him, so the best she can hope for is that he will choose neither of them, and things will remain as they were.

3. Emma is no longer Harriet’s mentor. If Harriet were to come, Emma could not restrict the conversation, and Harriet might bring up Mr. Knightley and supply all her evidence to prove he cares for her.

4. Hearing how Jane suffered at keeping her engagement a secret, Emma suspects that lying is contrary to Jane’s nature. She rightly guesses that Jane must have been deeply in love to have kept up the hurtful pretense.

5. Jane hadn’t taken Frank Churchill’s playfulness into account. Though she shows herself to be an honest, well-bred person who suffers in keeping her secret, Frank found the charade a delightful game. That would explain why he played along with Emma everytime she teased Jane about her alleged affair with her brother-in-law.

6. Emma thinks he may feel despondent because he told his brother of his plans to marry Harriet. Emma is full of conjecture here, but she doesn’t trust herself enough to study him closely for signs of what he really might be thinking.

7. Mr. Knightley thinks Emma is in love with Frank Churchill and sympathizes as best he can for her loss. He had Frank pegged from the beginning as weak, idle, and vain, but Emma didn’t heed his warning. Rather than saying “I told you so,” Mr. Knightley defends Emma’s broken heart with his own wounded honor.

8. Mr. Knightley catalogues Frank’s love life. He met the perfect woman, Jane Fairfax, by chance; his aunt dies, sparing them her disapproval; and his friends wish him well even though he used them to help cover his secret.

9. Again, Emma dreads that Mr. Knightley is about to bring up Harriet. She thinks he is seeking her approval to marry the girl. Meanwhile, Mr. Knightley is bristling with envy. He sees Frank Churchill as the object of Emma’s affections, instead of himself.

10. The party at Box Hill provided a showcase for Frank’s attentions to Emma. At dinner, he assailed her with attention and flattery. Mr. Knightley observed this, and he had to get away because he couldn’t take another similar display of adoration.

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