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Emma by Jane Austen - Mary Turner GHUM 200 Mystery even in...

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September 18, 2007 Mary Turner GHUM 200 Mystery, even in small amounts, intrigues a reader of any novel. A reader might find a novel less engaging if he knew the exact outcome instead of just reading from scratch. If an author leaves certain elements unanswered, the reader might want to indulge and keep reading, in order to understand how the story comes together in the end. In Jane Austen’s Emma, the many unanswered questions and mystery elements, such as in the relationships between the characters, catch a reader and pulls them in for quite a journey. In successful novels, most every aspect is connected with another to pull the story together. Important aspects can include a character’s personality, the actions that take place throughout the story, and the dialogue set between the characters. The exception comes with Emma , in which some of the aspects and incidences are left unanswered until the conclusion. While many of the story’s questions are answered in the end, some remain ambiguous. For example, questions arise about the reason behind Frank Churchill’s constant need to visit the Bateses, the social status of Harriet’s parents, the awkward relationship between Emma, Frank and Jane, and the purpose of the gypsy attack. These questions pull the reader into the novel’s scenes as if he too were a character in the book. Austen intended to both engage the reader and to keep him curious about the characters intentions and the resolution of the story. Austen also intended to give her characters more realistic and personable qualities in order to allow the reader to
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participate in their lives and engage in their story, not just fictional characters created for interest and attention. Many of the mysterious questions in Emma are initiated towards the beginning of the novel. For example, many of Emma Woodhouse’s flaws are made apparent in the first part of the novel, such as her obliviousness to other’s feelings, her strong belief in her matchmaking skills, and her snobbish attitude towards those of lower social classes, Emma states: “I planned the match [between Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston] from that hour; and when such success has blessed me in this instance, dear papa, you cannot think that I shall leave off matchmaking (8).” Emma believes she is destined for setting up relationships between residents of Highbury and refuses to stop matchmaking, against her father’s wishes. Emma is a stubborn and narrow minded young lady and chooses to do what she pleases. Character flaws stated at the beginning of a novel warn the reader of problems to come.
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