Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Emma, Chapters 29-40

I am so sorry, readers and Jane Austen Challenge participants. Things are quite crazy around these parts lately, but I promise that once I move out of my apartment to Chicago and then go to Massachusetts, where I'm spending the summer, things will get back to normal. I even have an exciting box from Powell's waiting for me when I get there, so there will be lots of reading and writing to share.

Here's a quick summary of what you missed in Emma.

Frank and Emma have decided that they want to throw a ball. Since Randalls is too small, they opt for the Crown Inn. Frank makes Emma promise to dance the first two numbers with him. Emma worries that Mrs. Churchill won’t let Frank stay in Highbury long enough for the ball, but she does. But two days later, she calls him home since she’s ill. Frank leaves and the ball is cancelled. Emma is upset, and recognizes that she has some feelings for him after all.

Before Emma can dwell too much on Frank, word comes that Mr. Elton and his wife will be arriving soon in Highbury. Emma tries to convince Harriet to get over him, and the girls go to visit the couple. Emma realizes on their second visit that Mrs. Elton is incredibly gauche and superficial.

Mrs. Elton turns cold towards Emma, and decides to take Jane Fairfax under her wing. Jane also refuses another trip to Ireland to stay on in Highbury. Emma asks Mr. Knightley about this, and also hints to him that she things he has feelings for Jane. He’s flustered, and tells Emma that he isn’t interested in Jane.

Emma throws a dinner party for Mrs. Elton, and her brother in law shows up to bring his sons to visit Emma and Mr. Woodhouse. While there, he chides Jane for going to the post office in the rain. There’s also an awkward discussion of who in the party has good handwriting, with Emma praising Frank’s and Knightley telling her she’s wrong. Do these two ever do anything besides disagree?

A letter arrives from Frank, saying that he and the Churchills are heading to London, so they’ll be close by, and that Frank will be coming to stay in Highbury. Emma worries about this, but because he has feelings for her and she barely returns them. When Frank arrives, the ball is back on. There’s an uncomfortable moment when the Westons realize that Mrs. Elton will be expected to lead the first dance and that Emma can’t do it as planned.

The ball is fun otherwise, and after Mr. Elton won’t dance with Harriet, Mr. Knightley saves the day. Emma thanks him afterwards, and tells him that he was right about Mr. Elton. Knightley tells her that she was more right about Harriet than he had realized. They’re finally getting along, and they dance.

Things take a weird turn when Harriet is accosted by gypsies while out walking. Frank runs into her and saves the day, bringing her to Hartfield. Harriet later tells Emma that she is no longer interested in Mr. Elton, and that she is ready to get rid of trinkets he used that she saved. Harriet tells Emma that she plans to never marry, but Emma suspects that Harriet is interested in someone out of her league (she means Frank). Harriet confirms these feelings. And that's where we leave things. More summary/analysis next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment