This post will combine sections II & III of Emma. It’s been a busy week.
All this time, Emma has been trying to set up her friend Harriet with Mr. Elton. She painted a picture of Harriet that Elton really seemed to enjoy. She invited both of them on a walk and then faked her shoe being untied to give them some alone time, but that ended up being really awkward because Harriet and Elton waited for Emma. Elton wrote a charade that Emma thought was intended for Harriet.
One night, Emma, Isabella, Knightley, and Elton go to a party at Randalls, the Weston estate. When it’s time to leave, Emma doesn’t want to ride in the carriage with Elton, but she does anyway. And that’s when things really get awkward. It turns out that Elton was never attracted to Harriet at all. It was Emma that he was after. Which doesn’t really make sense because he says he was clear with his intentions, but he wasn’t. How was Emma supposed to know that Elton was into her, and not Harriet? I don’t know. He’s just a horse tart, making moves on Emma when she obviously won’t have any of it.
And then comes the rebound. The next time Elton shows up, he’s engaged to Augusta Hawkins. Emma broke his heart into a million pieces, and now he’s engaged? He got over her really fast. Hawkins seems okay at first, but she’s not (more on that later).
At another party at the Cole’s house, Emma and Mrs. Weston (her former governess), are talking. When Mrs. Weston says ” … I have made a match between Mr. Knightley [John Knightley’s brother] and Miss Fairfax,” Emma replies “My dear Mrs. Weston, do not take to match-making. You do it very ill” (176). This is super ironic because the last time Emma tried match-making, it blew up in her face. So she can’t really say anything when other people make matches, and yet she does.
Frank Churchill finally shows up. He’d been so delayed in visiting his father – Mr. Weston – that they didn’t think he would come at all. At first, Mrs. Weston doesn’t think anything of Churchill not showing up, but when another letter comes saying that he is delayed again, she’s just as disappointed – if not more than – her husband.
When Frank finally shows up, though, everyone is happy. He and Emma seem to get along really well. They’re shippable. And I shipped them, until Frank has to go home to his sick aunt Seriously, though. Why does his family dictate when he comes and goes? This is what really bothers me: “As to his going, it was inevitable. He must be gone within a few hours, though without feeling any real alarm for his aunt, to lessen his repugnance. He knew his aunt; he knew her illnesses, they never occurred but for her own convenience” (202). Why is he going home if he knows his aunt isn’t really sick? I wouldn’t if I were him.
Anyway, while he’s gone, Emma writes imaginary letters to him, and she always ends up refusing him. I don’t know why. There was nothing wrong with their relationship. What does she have to refuse?
When Mr. and Mrs. Elton show up again, Mrs. Elton acts like she’s known everyone for years, making judgments about people left and right. Emma is understandably mad, because Mrs. Elton is making judgments about the people she cares about. You can’t judge people when you hardly know them.