How dialogue shows differences in character in 'Emma'

Essay by hiddenagendaHigh School, 12th gradeA, February 2007

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Dialogue Reveals Differences In Character

*Pg 53 - "But I cannot admit him to be Harriet's equal..." - Emma

"Not Harriet's qual! No, he is not her equal indeed, for he is much her superior" - Mr Knightley

Mr Knightley reveals himself to be an unbiased judge of character, based on their individual merit, whereas Emma's judgement of Mr Martin's worth is totally based on her perceptions of his social inferiority.

*Pg 63 - "What can it be...I have not an idea?" - Harriet

"Nonsense! My dear Harriet, what are you thinking of?" - Emma

The clear disparity between Emma and Harriet's intelligence is depicted through Harriet's confusion over a simple charade.

*Pg 32 - "I think they will neither of them do the other any good!" - Mr Knightley

"Emma must do Harriet good... Harriet may be said to do Emma good." -Mrs Weston

Mr Knightley embodies logical, unbiased and rational thought, assessing the situation based on evidence of Emma's past behaviour, while Mrs Weston allows her judgement to be influenced by her own wishes and her attachment towards Emma.

"i must do my cara sposo the justice" - mrs elton

*by the use of a phrase that was fashionable in the 1780's and 70's, Jane Austen portrays Mrs Elton's attempt at fashionable slang to be badly out of date, distinctly contrasting her with the rest of Highbury's gentry and thus, alienating her and commenting on the arrogance of the rising middle class

*Pg 227 - "I honestly said as much to Mr E which he was speaking of my future home and

Expressing his fears lest the retirement..." - Mrs Elton

Mrs Elton's vulgarity is frequently emphasized by her inappropriate modes of address

"Aye that would be much best" Harriet...