Jane had planned to work as a governess if not for the eventual confirmation of their marriage, making it reasonable that she should be competent as teacher as well as wife to Frank.
By similar logic, Emma also needs to marry someone who can be her teacher. Knightley, who “was one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them” (Austen 12). because I thought it would offend you; but, as you made no objection, I never did it again.’” Here, Emma references an event from her childhood in which she attempted to diminish Mr. Weston’s, but discovered that she did not have the power to do so. Elton as her husband, Emma sees something wrong in Mr.
“A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals.” —Austen (401) Jane Austen’s Emma can be viewed as a subjective case study on marriage.
While the marriage of her hero, Emma Woodhouse, is most prominent, it is only one in several marriages that Austen presents; the Westons, the Eltons, the Churchills, the Knightleys, and the Martins are the five couples joined in matrimony throughout the course of the novel.
were written, although they were not published until much later.
On her father's retirement in 1801, the family moved to Bath for several years and then to Southampton, settling finally at Chawton Cottage, near Alton, Hampshire, which was Jane's home for the rest of her life.
Evidently, Austen is prioritizing a different metric in determining the suitability of her characters’ spouses.
Austen thus presents the ideal marriage as a teacher-pupil relationship, in which one partner can only complement the other by helping him or her to grow intellectually. Hughes explains, “The underlying theme of this novel is the education of Emma Woodhouse, and the recurrent irony is that Emma, who must become pupil, insists on acting as teacher” (70).
Though two characters may be drawn together through the necessity of one complementing the other’s education, the issue of compatibility is more concerned with the moral character of the pupil—whether the pupil is accepting of his or her need to be taught.
The emphasis on education and learning within romantic relationships shapes the matches made throughout the novel; however, Austen’s use of the teacher-pupil marriage model applied deliberately to each couple serves to highlight the even greater importance of the pupil being of high moral character. Weston, the only couple that Emma successfully brought together, are shown to be happy and in love, while Mr.