Chapters 53-55 Questions and Answers
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...
(The entire section is 614 words.)