The novel Emma by Jane Austin has received much criticism both positive and negative since its publication in the year 1815. Some of the readers have exhorted the novel while some feel that it lacked plot development. Various women in the story have been portrayed in diverse ways and so are the men. Intimate relationships among the characters are one of the major themes that are discussed in the novel. While all the characters fall victim of being in love with each other, the protagonist and narrator in the story, Emma, seems to be immune to the love twists. She even swore that she will never get married. As a result, she concentrates in matching the characters of opposite gender with each other and leaving herself out (Austin 5).
Emma has been portrayed as a mediator and adviser in the novel. However, it's evident from the novel that most of the times he misled his friends though unknowingly. The love circle in the novel seems to be a tricky one. This is because all of the characters in the novel have been portrayed as to have gone through various relationship challenges. Moreover, they end up falling in love with individuals that they never had in mind or even planned to have as their soul-mates. Emma too fall a victim of the same trend as the novel unfolds when she falls in love with Knightley (Edward 12). However, the relationship between the two characters that later leads to marriage is based on Emma's jealousy.
In the novel, the men have been portrayed as being manipulated by the women. As a result, it was easy for Emma to match her girlfriends with other men without any fear of victimization. On the other hand, the men have been portrayed as being witty and who calculated their steps well before committing themselves ion any form of relationships. Betrayal is also one of the main themes in the story, Emma. Despite the fact that Emma had planned to stay single forever, she marries Knightley afterwards who apparently was supposed to be the perfect match for Harriet according to Emma. This is a sign of betrayal whereby Emma falls in love with her friend's potential boyfriend without her knowledge.
Austin, Jane. Emma. UK: John Murray. 1816.
Despite being considered by many critics as a failure, the novel Emma has received quite a huge number of appreciations. Austen came up with the idea of publishing the novel in December 1815. The main theme of the novel is based on misconstrued romance that tends to go around among the characters. Just as it occurred in Austen's other oeuvres, she looks into the difficulties and concerns of genteel women that live in England in Georgian-Regency. Despite the motif of the story being based on serious scenarios, she has qualified to bring out humor in the plot with the integration of the character's 'comedy of manners' (Todd 6).
Jane has used the heroin Emma on purpose. This is solely to contradict and outdo the male gender. In the earlier days, women played little or no role in making decisions. They too knew that they were not supposed to participate in making crucial approaches like those of marriage. They would not choose they suitors but rather waited patricianly so that they would be chosen. However, with using the heroin Emma, the writer has brought out the impression of change in time and the determination that comes along with it. Despite the men knowing that women were not allowed to engage in such roles that concerned marriage and love life, they had little to say so as to oppose. In fact, the only man that opposed the idea of Emma's matching couples was Mr. Knightley. To bring out more contradiction, he marries Emma as the novel unfolds. His is a clear example that the men too are ready to embrace change in the male dominated society and leave a room for the women whereby they have the freedom to make their own decisions.
The female characters in the novel have been portrayed as to play the largest part in developing the plot. Jane as she states as the novel opens, 'Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich,' (Duckworth 8) is a good example that shows his biasness towards the female gender. When she describes Emma as being handsome yet she is a woman, Jane signifies that the character holds the qualities of a man and she too could make decisions as the men would. Jane has portrayed the woman as being independent both financially and socially. However, she summarizes the novel when Emma gets married to her greatest critic, Mr. Knightley. This seen has been used to show the intimacy between the two genders and that they need each other despite being financially independent. Therefore, they were not exempted from falling in love for companionship.
The novel Emma has clearly portrayed the characters as being entangled in the love and neither of them had immune from falling in love. Jane has used the protagonist Emma, to put this farther explain this argument.