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Friday, August 21, 2015

The Friday Five: My Favorite Scenes from Emma

Here's what's going to happen: I'm going to list some of my favorite parts of Emma, and then in the comments, you are going to say, "Well, I love __________" and then I'm going to say, "Gah! Of course, yes, that!"  Because it turns out, it's really hard to choose chuse only five favorite parts of a book that you've loved for half of the entire time you've been alive.  But I tried.
So here are some of my favorite moments from Emma, and though there are many, many more, and probably many moments of more significance, these are the ones that always pop into my head first; the ones that give me little butterflies of delighted anticipation; the ones that make me laugh and feel, that are turning points or perfect representative moments.  I've ruled out proposals because obviously -- everyone loves those (both Elton's and Knightley's), so they're freebies.
Please do share yours in the comments! I need something to kick myself for, after all... ;)

A Knightley & Taylor-Weston tête-à-tête — So early in the book, and I'm already feeling butterflies! I adore -- flat out adore -- this silly little potential-throwaway scene between Mr. Knightley and the recent Mrs. Weston, discussing all things Emma. It's a very telling scene for Knightley, who has opinions on Emma and the person she shall become, and he inadvertently reveals quite a bit about his interest in Emma, even if he's still deluding himself projecting that it's all brotherly. . .  I mean, after all, he has "preserved for some time" one of Emma's infamous lists (a reading list, no less, making both her and him characters after our own hearts in that moment).
There are so many little things in this scene that add up to one big thing, and mean so much more in retrospect, that this scene has long been one of my favorites.

The ball at The Crown — From Elton pointedly refusing to dance with Harriet to Miss Bates' eeeeeendless busy nothings, Knightley dancing with Harriet & Emma later basically asking him to dance (gasp! how forward), and Frank being Frank, just... So many things! There are so many moments of importance, and so much groundwork laid to be later looked back on with a totally different perception, and it's all packed into a fairly short scene. So good!

Meeting Mrs. Elton — Say what you want, but there is nothing more satisfying than being justified in your dislike of someone, amirite? Both of Emma's initial run-ins with Mrs. Elton prove that she's going to be a joy to dislike, but it's the meeting at the Woodhouse's, when the Eltons pay a call just after their marriage, and Mrs. E. proves herself to be every bit as obnoxious and odious as you could ever want in someone you're determined to dislike, that everything slots into place and makes me very contentedly agitated.
Is that weird?

Box Hill — Ugh, what Emma-lover doesn't simultaneously love and cringe at this scene? There is something about a public outing that just turns every Austen character on their heads and sets the plot to a nice boil.
The picnic on Box Hill is no exception, and is perhaps one of the best examples of Austen characters showing their metaphoric asses (aside from the Bennets supreme performance at the Netherfield ball, of course) in all of Austen -- with Emma herself taking the prize for Biggest Foot in Mouth.
And with Miss Bates, Mr and Mrs Elton in attendance, that's really saying something.

Elton's charade — It's always hilarious and facepalm-worthy when Emma completely has things turned around, but the scene in which Elton contributes his own "charade" for the ladies to puzzle over proves just how deft Emma really is in her mental gymnastics.
"I do not offer it for Miss Smith's collection," said he. "Being my friend's, I have no right to expose it in any degree to the public eye, but perhaps you may not dislike looking at it."

The speech was more to Emma than to Harriet, which Emma could understand. There was deep consciousness about him, and he found it easier to meet her eye than her friend's. . .
. . . as he's handing a love letter directly to Emma. The confirmation bias is strong with this one.

So, what are some of YOUR favorite moments from Emma? Let me know in the comments, and if you're inclined to do your own "The Friday Five" for AIA, feel free and link it up on the linky!

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  1. Those are some good ones. I enjoyed seeing Harriet dispose of those little bits she kept from her brief crush on Mr. Elton, I liked that moment when Frank plans to reveal something to Emma and she thinks its a proposal, I chuckled over Emma's run-down of her dislike for Jane Fairfax. I was planning to come up with five different ones from yours, but that time at the assembly when Harriet is shunned and Mr. Knightley stepped in is my favorite swoonworthy moment so I have to claim it.

  2. Argh, I tried to narrow down my five and now I'm having an anxiety attack.

  3. I would say my most favorite is when Knightly goes to Harriett while she is being shunned.

    1. Yes! Nothing says "Knightley is amazing" more than that scene.

  4. Oh yes! Plus the whole pianoforte mystery scene at the Bates'. I have a difficult time wrapping my head around Frank Churchill's character, and why he goes so above and beyond in misleading Emma and taunting Jane. And to me, it all starts in that scene. It's like a puzzle to my brain.

    1. Yes! I didn't talk about that last night in my mini Frank Churchill rant during the Clueless watch, but he goes out of his way to provoke Jane, too! *grumble*


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