CRITICAL: It has been said about Jane Austen that she is basically trying to show her readers how they should live their lives. Do you agree with this statement?
“Be who you are, but before you do that, make sure who you are is somewhat good” – Katya Zamolodchikova, UNHhhh, 2016
None of us ever has the right to tell other individuals how to live their lives, that is correct. However, there is a difference between being controlling and pointing out the wrong. The novel is literally about disapproving Emma’s behavior of manipulation while trying to help her see her true potential to grow as a person. I disagree entirely with the statement, because Jane Austen was not trying to force her ideas of life upon her readers, but instead showed them how to rise above the stereotypes and take control for their own lives. Emma at the beginning was not her authentic self, but the embodiment of expectations from society. Even though her matchmaking plans were with good intentions, it was still a serious violation of trust. As the story progressed, with the help of Mr. Knightley, she eventually realized the consequences of her action and turned over a new leaf, quite impressively. Personally, Emma being able to transform and progress is a healthy example of how an individual can rise above their environment and take control of their lives. Granted, she was never poor physically, but psychologically, she grew up without a mother’s love and the only one that could provide that for her, Miss Taylor, could only do so in a limited amount of time. In addition, her family stood quite high in the social hierarchy at the time, meaning she had been under a large amount of pressure from the outside naturally. Such circumstances can very much break a person and lead them astray. However, Emma rose and became a much better version of herself, the version Mr. Knightley knew for sure was there since the beginning.