Sunday, April 4, 2010

Emma: Reading Notes

"She had always wanted to do everything, and had made more progress both in drawing and music than many might have done with so little labour as she would ever submit to. She played and sang; -- and drew in almost every style; but steadiness had always been wanting; and in nothing had she approached the degree of excellence which she would have been glad to command, and ought not to have failed of." (p.56)
I so relate to wanting to do everything but not necessarily the work involved in doing everything.

"It is very pretty," said Mr. Woodhouse."So prettily done! Just as your drawings always are, my dear. I do not know any body who draws so well as you do. The only thing I do not thoroughly like is, that she seems to be sitting out of doors, with only a little shawl over her shoulders -- and it makes one think she must catch cold."
"But, my dear papa, it is supposed to be summer; a warm day in summer. Look at the tree."
"But it is never safe to sit out of doors, my dear."(p.61)
Mr. Wodehouse is definitely my favorite character in Emma. That made me laugh.
Chapters 7 & 8 brought out a lot of my Emma bashing. She really is incredibly self-centered and obnoxious. I realize there wouldn't be much of a story if Harriet had just accepted Mr. Martin the first time but it galls me reading how Emma manipulates her and then goes on to stubbornly brag about it to Mr. Knightley. Ick. She is such a bad friend.

"Her views of improving her little friend's mind, by a great deal of useful reading and conversation, had never yet led to more than a few first chapters, and the intention of going on to-morrow. It was much easier to chat than to study; much pleasanter to let her imagination range and work at Harriet's fortune, than to be labouring to enlarge her comprehension or exercise it on sober facts; and the only literary pursuit which engaged Harriet at present, the only mental provision she was making for the evening of life, was the collecting and transcribing all the riddles of every sort that she could meet with, into a thin quarto of hot-pressed paper, made up by her friend, and ornamented with cyphers and trophies." (p.87)
Amen to chatting versus studying! I probably should be more concerned about what mental provisions I'm making for the evening of my own life as well.

"And then their uncle comes in, and tosses them up to the ceiling in a very frightful way!"
"But they like it, papa; there is nothing they like so much. It is such enjoyment to them, that if their uncle did not lay down the rule of their taking turns, which ever began would never give way to the other."
"Well, I cannot understand it."
"That is the case with us all, papa. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." (p.101)

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