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Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: John Murray
Publication Date: 1815
Summary: Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.
Never Read Your Idol
It took SOOOO long for me to finish this book, which disappoints me to no end because I have always enjoyed the witticisms of Jane Austen. My current journal gives me a daily Austenian quote to inspire and delight me for goodness sake!!! I have always admired Jane Austen’s determination and tenacity to pursue her dream of writing and not succumbing to societal pressures to seek marriage above all else. Although I have always considered myself as a fan of Jane Austen, I have never read any of her works, and my feelings while reading this book compounded my worries that I am only in love with the idea of Jane Austen. I am ashamed that this book is considered Austen’s most flawless work, but I felt the book was WAY too wordy. Every time I finished a chapter where nothing significant happened (in my “humble” opinion obviously), I sighed and wondered “Why is this chapter in the book?” while also thinking I just wasn’t versed enough in 19th century British society and customs to “get it”. Hopefully, my next Jane Austen read will not leave me so cold.
The Clueless Factor
I have always known the movie Clueless was based on Emma, but this is the first time I got to see if the inspiration was really there. I am happy to say not only was I able to see the similarities between the book and the movie, it actually made me get more into the story when I picked up on them. We literally get to see the “Tai” in “Harriet” when Emma convinces her that Mr. Elton is a better match than the lowly Mr. Martin. We also see the evolution of Harriet from humble to vain through the eyes of Emma and because of Emma’s meddling. We get to see the spark that started the love tent between Harriet, Emma, and Mr. Elton when Mr. Elton enthusiastically requested a portrait of Harriet painted by Emma and the inevitable explosion when the misunderstandings came to light. I for sure LOVED when Harriet finally got over Mr. Elton by tossing her one memento that she cherished into the fire. Of course, the moment when Emma finally realized she was in love with Mr. Knightley did not disappoint. Even the use of “wretched” made me squeal with delight! I was still a little squicked out by the seemingly incestuous love between Emma and her “brother” George and the tremendous age difference between the two. A 17-year gap between lovers is something I definitely don’t want to think about when Mr. Knightley lets Emma know he’s loved her since she was 13 years old…EEK!!!
Looking forward to the moments where I could see the Clueless-ness in Emma is the only thing that kept me reading this book. With a book this long, I felt the story ended too abruptly, which was quite disappointing.
The Final Grade
Laborious Literature: This was such an unexpected struggle read for me. I had high hopes due to my love of Jane Austen, but my love for Clueless is what really kept me going.
So…are you a fan of Emma? Do you love Jane Austen? How many times have you watched Clueless? Let us know in the comments! |RL