Part IV: Emma
I haven’t read Emma in a very long time and, for some bizarre reason, I’m having a hard time getting into it with this re-read.
Jane Austen once wrote that she didn’t expect people to like Emma and, to be honest, I’m finding that I don’t. I don’t like the way she treats Harriet, and she has a lot of nerve getting angry with Mr. Knightley when he calls her on it. But the characters who really jump out at me during this reading are Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley. I find them both to be rather annoying, particularly Isabella. During her conversations with her father, the two of them seem to be playing “can you top this” vis à vis their respective apothecaries, and I just want to reach into the novel, give her a smack upside the head and then tell her to shut up. I can understand such behavior in a crotchety old man, but in a young woman it’s just annoying. As for Mr. John Knightley, you’d think that the fact that he and Emma aren’t the best of friends would be a point in his favor, but I am not finding him to be very likable either.
I really need to speed up the process — I want to be done with all things Emma by the end of this month.