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Miss Harriet Smith's Case

Essay by   •  February 24, 2013  •  Essay  •  634 Words (3 Pages)  •  984 Views

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After reading this short passage about Miss Harriet Smith's personality and mannerisms, the reader will, surprisingly, understand more about Emma than Harriet. Even though this passage describes Harriet's physical features and traits, the reader is hearing about Harriet through Emma's point of view. Emma explains to the reader that in her eyes, Harriet is nearly perfect. Emma talks of Harriet's beauty, manners, and that those who know her are unworthy of her greatness.

After the first paragraph the reader is aware that Emma is a very distinguished woman with loads of respect. As explained in the first sentence, "Mrs. Goddard, in most respectful terms, [asked] to be allowed to bring Miss Smith with her" proving Emma is a woman of high standards and importance. As Harriet and Mrs. Goddard arrive the reader learns that Emma is immediately taken with Harriet, almost to a point of infatuation. As said in the passage, "She was a very pretty girl, and her beauty happened to be a sort of which Emma particularly admired." This sentence speaks of Harriet, but doesn't fail to explain how Emma feels about Miss Smith, teaching the reader something about Emma's thoughts on Harriet. Unbeknownst to Harriet, Emma's mind is already made up. Emma sees the potential in this young woman and realizes that she must do something. The narrator explains, "Before the end of the evening, Emma was as much pleased with her manners as her person, and quite determined to continue the acquaintance." This, again, shows the reader something about Emma and not Harriet. This shows that when Emma sees someone that has the potential to be great, Emma must seize her opportunity to help bring greatness upon this person. Without Harriet even knowing it, Emma has already made a plan in her head to give Harriet, what she thinks, is a better life. Emma believes that Harriet is too good for everyone that she is usually around. The narrator explains Emma's thoughts in saying, "The acquaintances she had already formed were unworthy of her. The friends from whom she had just parted, though very good sort of people, must be doing her harm . . . very unfit to be the inmates of a girl who wanted only a little more knowledge and elegance to be quite perfect." Through Emma's point of view Harriet could be perfect with a small effort from someone who is already perfect, Emma. Emma's over-confidence comes out in the last line when the narrator says, "It would be an interesting, and certainly a very kind undertaking; highly becoming her own situation in life, her leisure, and powers." As previously stated, this passage teaches the reader more about Emma than Harriet, even though Harriet's life story seems to be explained. This thought of Emma's shows that she is a very conceded woman who has lived a very wealthy lifestyle that has made her believe that she is the

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