Emma Woodhouse

Emma Woodhouse

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... with high self-esteem. Witty and pretty, Emma grew up loved and praised on the Woodhouse estate of Hartfield, which was located near London.

Living... with her affectionate but aging father. Emma has been mistress of Hartfield since her older sister's marriage, and she doesn't think she will ever leave him, even to get married. As she puts it, "never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's."

Interests... romance, being witty, and matchmaking. The last one's a recent hobby, but ever since introducing her governess to her new husband, Emma's been working to find husbands or wives for all her friend. Right now, she's got two projects she's working on. The first is Mr. Elton, a vicar who's been at Hartfield a whole year and who has furnished his house so comfortably it'd be a shame to have him single any longer. And then there's Miss Harriet Smith, a sweet and unassuming girl who will be an interesting case...

Relationship Status... single. Emma's love life is not nearly so interesting to her as other people's love lives. After all, as she says, "to understand, thoroughly understand my own heart, is an endeavor."

Challenge... dealing with Mr. Knightly, Emma's brother-in-law and the only one to ever criticize her. But although his observations aren't always agreeable, Emma is beginning to think he may be right about a few things.

Personality... clever and spirited, but vain. Emma thinks very highly of herself – and in some ways for good reason. But her hubris can get her in trouble when she starts meddling in other peoples' lives. Emma might thinks she knows best, but she's often wrong. Still, her intentions are good and beneath all her blunders, she cares deeply for others.


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