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"Reguardless of his looks, he isn't such a bad guy." - BIGWAVE01

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  • Date Submitted: 05/19/2011 12:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.8 
  • Words: 3442
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Excerpt from Emma
Jane Austen’s light comic touch and finely developed sense of irony are evident in the first chapter of Emma, which introduces the chief characters of Emma and Mr. Knightley, and Emma’s father, the fussy, hypochondriac, childishly selfish Mr. Woodhouse. Austen’s deceptively circumscribed setting—variations on the theme of the concerns of the higher social ranks of small English villages—belies her gift for subtly probing the human condition in a highly entertaining, thought-provoking way—a talent revealed in this excerpt.

Emma

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father, and had, in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.

Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.

The real evils indeed of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which...

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