The training impact of experience in Jane Austen's Emma

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2017, vol. 43, iss. 2, pp. [127]-149
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Jane Austen's Emma foregrounds the impact of experience on the central character's cognitive and emotional development. Experience also plays a key role in how the narrative is constructed. Having presented the impact of Emma's miscalculations about the other characters' intentions, the narrative shows how she grows mentally through her experiences and how they mould her character along time. As a result of her experiences, Emma's character gradually evolves into a more sympathetic one. Such a transformation brings about some meaningful re-evaluations in Emma's thoughts, judgments and behaviour. Likewise, in narrative studies, experience is taken as an inherent quality of narrative and is evoked in its reader. In this essay I argue that the representation of the impact Emma's personal experiences have on her should be taken as the most important aspect of Austen's narrative plot and as the basic condition for its understanding.
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