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<---More Recent 106.Box Hill 105.Satire and Northanger Abbey 104. Irony, Manners, Mansfield Park Earlier Answers-->

Name:Sobia naeem
Email:biyakazim{at}hotmail.com
Question 107 Hi first of all I wanna thank Jane for the immediate reply, and I wanna ask one thing more; Tell me about Emma's interrupted friendship with Harriet smith, Jane Fairfax and Mr Woodhouse?
Reply Dear Sobia,

Emma is infatuated, to use Mr Knightley’s word, with the humble ‘natural daughter of somebody’ Harriet. She has taken her on because of her physical attractions and because she needs someone to feel superior to, being rather spoilt and for various reasons insecure. She manages Harriet’s desire, making her reject a worthy suitor on toe-curlingly class-based lines. Harriet finally learns from Emma not to be humble about her marital wants, and chooses Knightley himself, the man Emma suddenly realises she ‘loves’, or has loved all along perhaps. Obviously the friendship won’t survive this clash for various reasons.  

Jane Fairfax is a brilliantly talented person, not amenable to Emma’s patronage and indeed Emma is a bit jealous of her as talented and as much-loved and ‘cried up’ by her immediate family (the Bateses). She is also more reserved and ‘difficult’ than ever thanks to her rather rocky secret engagement to Frank, who pretends to ‘court’ Emma herself. At the end the impediment (Mrs Churchill) is removed and Frank and Jane are off to Yorkshire as Emma marries Knightley.

Emma is daughter to Mr Woodhouse, a difficult man though basically a nice one--frail, querulous, dim and a bit neurotic (aren’t we all?) This is someone Emma can’t leave behind so even on her marriage to Mr Knightley he will have to quit his house not she hers in order to accommodate Mr W. However, Mr W. finally welcomes the idea as Knightley will make such a brilliant watchdog (roughly)!!!  But Sobia, Please read my book for yourself and please acknowledge our site.

Best wishes, 

Jane Austen. 

April 28, 2006 01:55:10 (GMT Time)



Name:Sobia Naeem                     Top
Email:biyakazim{at}hotmail.com
Question 106 Hi, i want to know about the box hill event in Emma complete information about that, and i really dont have time.
Reply Dear Sobia,

You seem to find it difficult either to locate me, or fear to read me having done so. If the former you can get to copies of the novels on the web (e.g. here) and using the words 'Box Hill' to find the right spot in the text. Do read me for yourself and have some thoughts of your own.

At Box Hill everything goes wrong as Mr Weston has united incompatible parties like Emma and Mrs Elton, Frank has secretly quarrelled with his secret love Jane Fairfax and pretends to flirt with Emma, Emma is duped but registers the bad atmosphere, gaily insults poor old Miss Bates and is magisterially rebuked by the caring landowner Mr Knightley who has a strong 'community sense'. Jane Fairfax, poor but strong-minded, gives Frank a hint to the effect that their secret engagement may be over. It's a terrible event made out of what might seem to be trivia, and things were already building up among the strawberry beds of Donwell Abbey. Please read the relevant chapter and what surrounds the incident narratively speaking, before and after, and you will enjoy all this. Please acknowledge our site as source, and also create some opinions of your own from your own perusal of me.

With best wishes.

Jane Austen.

April 26, 2006 00:07:29 (GMT Time)



Name:Amanda Caldwell                     Top
Email:angeleyedqt20{at}yahoo.com
Question 105 I am doing a paper on Jane Austen's satirical style in Northanger Abbey. I need to know what the elements of her satirical style are? Also, what are her habits of writing that help her to create the ironic tone that she does? I have to use passages from the novel to try and account for her writing works. I'd appreciate any insight you could give me! Thanks!
Reply Dear Amanda,

Please enjoy my novel as and for yourselves, and answer according to your own apprehension (both senses, probably, at the moment, poor thing!)  Comedy results from the heroine Catherine’s up-country naïvety, which causes her to misinterpret people’s intentions, and situations in Bath and at Northanger, ironic fun supplied by narator. Curiously this makes Catherine lovable and in this way constitutes her as the heroine the narrator derides her for not being. Her reading also seems to lead her astray in comic ways –or does it? Don't gothic things finally reveal themselves?  The language of the characters, revealing their self-preoccupied bluster, or illogicality, or duplicity, or banality (respectively John Thorpe, Isabella and John Thorpe, Isabella again, and Mrs Allen create a sense of a living world through misuse of language, and this would have to include the General. (Why? Answer: connected with his initial sense of Catherine’s ‘status’.)   Master of those who know here is Henry Tilney, but though correcting he also stands corrected at points, and by Catherine (cf. nbehaviour of Frederick, Henry's brother). Catherine is so naïve she is like Voltaire’s Candide (note name) in his short novel of that title written earlier in the eighteenth century, and the gentle ‘horsy’ creatures of ‘Gullivers’ Travels’ who know no word for lying. We like Catherine for being gullible, like Gulliver. This gives you a start (both senses?) Please don’t forget to read and enjoy me en route to the good grades you will earn and please acknowledge this website as if it were a book or article even if it only helps a little. This is only fair, to yourselves and colleagues (and me).

With best wishes

Jane Austen.

April 20, 2006 00:00:24 (GMT Time)



Name:anabell chris                     Top
Email:anabell_chris@yahoo.co.in
Question 104 Can you tell me where I could get some good and valid notes on Austens irony, characterisation, in Mansfield Park. I also need to discuss it as a novel of manners. Thank you
Reply Dear Anabell,

Sorry, I've been away, so sincere apologies for the delay. 

Probably the best intro for MP book may be the short introductory study by Isobel Armstrong which I read with pleasure. Chapters in books include those in books by Margaret Kirkham and Claudia Johnson, though there are many, many others.

Manners in Mansfield Park are problematic. Manners are associated with charm and perhaps with concealing your real thoughts or opinions; Mansfield is beginning to suspect these traits. The emphasis shifts to morals especially as the Bertram sisters Maria and Julia are civilised products, well educated, with pleasing manners but this conceals the fact that their lives are ego-centric, limiting the value of their apparently privileged upbringing. Edmund is a central figure here as an honest, sincere and caring person who offers a particular sense of manners, perhaps more puritan or bourgeois in tone, based in sincerity, than aristocratic dash, associated with acting a part and charm which may hide harmful or careless intentions, as in the case of Henry Crawford. People like Yates and Henry are so histrionic in their approach to life they almost back into sincerity through acting. Issues relating to acting and the production of Lovers’ Vows in Sir Thomas’s absence suggest that the old Chesterfielian notions of ‘manners with role-play’ is giving way to something simpler and severer as a guide to conduct.  The novel seems to be exploring how outward forms of behaviour, even when apparently gracious, need to be complemented by moral training and a check on following one's own desires?  You might like to look for other contexts to discuss this. Is Mary Crawford deficient in manners or morals when she makes the faux pas which shock Edmund and Fanny? Is Henry Crawford a man whose manners substitute for morality, or what Keats called ‘the true voice of feeling(s)? You decide. Do manners help others feel at ease or are they simply a way of making things easier for oneself?

With best wishes.

Jane Austen.

April 17, 2006 19:58:55 (GMT Time)