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Jane Austen’s Emma – Formation, Malformation, and Education through Friendship Seminar
September 21, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, repeating until October 5, 2021
Jane Austen noted that the titular character in her novel Emma is “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”. Emma is certainly no Elizabeth Bennet, whose sparkling wit and keen intelligence have made her decidedly the most popular Austen character—but judging by the multiple film adaptations of Austen’s later and more complex novel (including the recent 2020 visually decadent version with Anya Taylor-Joy), there is something about Emma which nevertheless invites us to befriend her, in spite of (or perhaps because of?) her errors and mistakes.
Perhaps her sincere though egotistical attempts to form and influence those around her strikes rather close to home. We, too, think that Pygmalion attempts at shaping others will help them to be better off. Emma is a novel about education: how our relationships educate us for better or for worse, how societal roles both restrict and liberate attempts at self-improvement, and how men and women can learn from one another.
We will play close attention not only to the content of the novel, but the carefully crafted manner in which it is told. The genius of Emma lies in its narration—in how Austen educates us and reveals our own misadventures in judgment.