Chapters 53-55 Questions and Answers
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 614
1. Why does Emma say she can never call Mr. Knightley “George”?
2. Why does Emma have such a hard time persuading her father to give his consent to her marriage?
3. How long do Mr. Knightley and Emma think it will be before the news is all over Highbury?
4. Why do the Eltons respond to the match between Mr. Knightley and Emma as they do?
5. Why does Emma lean into her workbasket to conceal her face when Mr. Knightley tells her that Harriet accepted Mr. Martin’s proposal?
6. Why isn’t Mr. Knightley surprised at Harriet’s agreeing to marry Robert Martin?
7. Why does Emma forgive Frank so readily?
8. How does Frank show that he is not much changed by his secret engagement being brought to light?
9. What is the secret of Harriet’s birth?
10. What does Mrs. Elton think of the wedding?
1. Calling Mr. Knightley by his first name is an intimacy Emma doesn’t feel entitled to yet. She promises to call him by his Christian name on the day they are married, anticipating their inevitable union.
2. Emma tries to persuade her father that since Mr. Knightley visits nearly every day, things wouldn’t vary greatly once they were married. Mr. Woodhouse uses the same argument back at her. He reasons that since Mr. Knightley visits nearly every day now, why does she need to marry him?
3. Once the word is out to Mr. Weston, Emma guesses that he will tell everyone in their immediate circle. She calculates that by evening, they will be talked of all over Highbury. Emma and Mr. Knightley know Mr. Weston’s nature very well.
4. The Eltons have been bruised by Emma’s past behavior. Emma pushed Mr. Elton at Harriet when he clearly preferred her and lays claim to being the most pre-eminent lady in Highbury—a distinction Mrs. Elton wants for herself. They don’t particularly wish her well.
5. Emma has professed to dislike the idea of a match between Harriet and Robert Martin so much, Mr. Knightley feels certain she won’t like hearing about it. In fact, Emma is so delighted, she has to hide her smiles. She is relieved to be free of the responsibility for Harriet’s happiness.
6. Mr. Knightley has always understood Harriet better than Emma did. He refers to her simply as a “good-tempered, soft-hearted girl.” Emma was too busy hatching schemes around Harriet to see her real nature.
7. Emma recognizes the importance of forgiving Frank for taking them all in. She wants to tie off all the loose ends of their past, and she wants to practice humility now that the truth is out. She hints to Frank that if she had been in the same situation, she would have been amused herself at the charade.
8. He whispers to Emma that his uncle plans to give her all his aunt’s jewels. Frank is as materialistic and playful as he always was. His bluff romance with Emma and almost losing Jane because of it have apparently taught him nothing. His sense of values has not been enlarged by his experience.
9. There is no secret. Harriet is not the daughter of nobility as Emma once hoped she might be. But she is illegitimate and that fact would make her less suitable to mix with the blood of any of the men Emma had planned for her.
10. Mrs. Elton thought the simplicity of the wedding was rather shabby. From her husband giving her the particulars, we can guess that she wasn’t invited, or that she was and stayed home. Because she is so pompous, her put down of the event is probably the best endorsement it could receive.