Analysis Pages

Character Analysis in Emma

Character Analysis Examples in Emma:

Volume I - Chapter I

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"animated..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

The word "animated" means full of movement and life. In this case, Mr. Woodhouse is animated from the walk. something he is usually not.

"equals..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

By "equal," Emma means people like her who belong to the same social, age, and economic class.

"unexceptionable..."   (Volume I - Chapter I)

Here, the word "unexceptionable" means Mr. Weston was a fine, upstanding man who gave no one cause to doubt his good character.

"of age..."   (Volume I - Chapter II)

Miss Churchill is of legal age, meaning she is old enough to make her own decisions in life.

"and actually shaken hands with her at last..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

In his edition of Austen's works (Oxford University Press), R. W. Chapman noted that, at this point in the 19th century, shaking hands was a "mark of intimacy or affability." Clearly, Emma is a bit surprised and flattered by Miss Woodhouse's gesture.


"quicksighted..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "quicksighted" means quick to see. In this case, Miss Bates always looks for the positive in other people.

"atonement..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

The word "atonement" means amends or reparations. In this case, Miss Bates is not brilliant enough to compensate for all of her other deficiencies.

"make up a card-table..."   (Volume I - Chapter III)

This is a phrase meaning that Emma could not find enough friends for Mr. Knightley to play cards with; for example, she could not find three other friends to make a foursome for partnered card games.

"Were not you struck..."   (Volume I - Chapter IV)

In other words, the phrase "Were not you struck?" asks, "Did you not notice Mr. Martin's strange behavior?" Harriet does not believe Mr. Martin is a real gentleman.

"afloat..."   (Volume I - Chapter IV)

By "aloat" Emma means that Mr. Martin's share in the family property is inaccessible. In this case, he is invested in the lands and animals of the family farm.

"unaffected..."   (Volume I - Chapter VII)

The word "unaffected" means natural, honest, and genuine. In this case, Mr. Martin writes freely and does not sound like someone he is not.

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