'Mr Knightley is the arbiter of sense and judgement.' Discuss with reference to the first eleven chapters.
Mr Knightley, in direct contrast to Emma, is sensible to the ways of the world and thoughtful. Mr Knightley has all the good qualities that Emma lacks and he always voices his true opinions. Knightley displays many admirable virtues and he helps us to see the reality of a situation.
Mr Knightley is Emma's brother-in-law and he is an old and established friend of the family. Mr Knightley serves as Emma's mentor and is the only person who criticizes Emma and helps the reader to locate her faults. We first see Knightley's sense in the first chapter. Mr Knightley is a regular visitor of the Woodhouses and he receives a warm welcome from Emma. Emma and her father have been discussing the day's celebration - the wedding of Emma's beloved governess Miss Taylor to Mr Weston.
Emma is at pains to cheer her father from the sad loss of their friend and she points out to him that Mrs Weston is delightfully settled in her new life and cannot want for anything. Mr Woodhouse refers to Mrs Weston as 'poor Miss Taylor' throughout this first chapter, because he cannot except that she is happy. Mr Knightley observation of the situation is that they should be happy for their friend:
'... Every friend of Miss Taylor must be glad to have her so happily married.'
Mr Knightley displays a warm and sincere regard for Emma, coupled with an honest view of her faults. Mr Knightley has known Emma all her life and through this knowledge he is able to have a great insight into Emma's character that no one else in the book has. He represents a paternal office far more effectively than...