Teacher Guide

Emma Lesson Plan

Introduction to Emma

Jane Austen called Emma "A heroine whom no one but myself will much like." Immature, unromantic, spoiled, and meddling, Emma, indeed, is not Austen's most sympathetic character. From the first moments of the book, the reader learns Emma has no cares in the world, other than her own boredom once her governess marries and leaves the house, and no critics, other than the very superior Mr. Knightley. Every character in Highbury, the protected little town Emma rules, is subject to her whims and schemes. There are few people Emma cannot find some way to "help". Emma is unique among Austen's oeuvre, as the heroine has basically no dramatic conflict and no pressure to marry, and instead,...

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