MovieChat Forums > Emma (1996) Discussion > Manipulative, conniving, selfish, arroga...

Manipulative, conniving, selfish, arrogant, and a snob.


And this bitch is considered some sort of "heroine"? WTF?

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She was supposed to be that way, that was the point. She wasn't really the heroine, just the protagonist.

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Yet everyone in the story fawned over her, she was never called on her behavior, and everything turned out roses for her. Nor did she ever learn anything from it.

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George and John Knightly 'called' her on her behavior, George in particular was highly critical of Emma. Did you not notice this? What about the scene at Box Hill where Emma is rude to Miss Bates? Or when George lost his temper over Emma talking Harriet into refusing an eligible young man?

Everything did finally turn out well for her, but what makes you think Emma never learned from her mistakes? Or realised she'd been horribly wrong? Or that she changed her attitude where it needed to be changed? Emma certainly did in the three versions of the adaptation I've seen, as well as in the book.

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She was chided by George several times but she walked away unfazed. Even after George chided her about her selfishness with Harriet, Emma was still unfazed.

I never saw Emma's negative traits be replaced by positive ones. By the end of the film, she was still arrogant, selfish, etc. To me, she was still the same personh she was in the begining of the film I saw.

Oh well.

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What about after the Box Hill picnic, where Emma insulted Miss Bates. Emma was very upset about what she'd done, and even more so after George had a go at her about it? And when she's sorry for Mr Matin's disappointment when Harriet rejected him? And contrast her earlier snobbery with the fact that she sakes hands, publicly with Robert Martin? Shaking hands with people was only rarely done in those days, and to shake hands with a social inferior was a big deal.

All of this is made much clearer in the book, which is much better than any of the adaptations (of course).

The people have appointed me. I am their leader. I must follow them.

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She didn't correct her wrongs, that I recall. She still seemed satisfied that Harriett rejected him, in favor of Emma, even if Emma did feel a bit sorry for Mr. Matin. I kept wondering why she didn't tell Mr. Matin what she had done and reunite him and Harriett. Or did she? I did skip about a half hour of the film because Emma was so incredibly annoying. I also didn't see if she ever made any sort of amends with the girl (name? ) who played the piano that came to town and had no parents.

(I've seen the film once and do not have a copy. I remember faces, not names.)

I do remember the end of the film and thought Emma was still a haughty snot.

I've never read the book. After seeing the film, I don't want to because the film version of Emma annoyed me so much. I think I just don't like Emma's personality. The film as a whole was OK, it was just Emma who was maddeningly annoying to me. Go figure. LOL!

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Well, Austen did say in writing 'Emma' that she was going to create a heroine that noone but herself would like. It looks like she's succeeded with you You're not alone, I know other people who don't like Miss Woodhouse either .

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I understand the concept of loving to hate the bad guy but Emma wasn't supposed to be the bad guy. It's hard to indulge yourself in a story when you hate the main character.

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Emma did correct some of her faults, and she learned to regret her past arrogance in separating Miss Smith and Mr Martin, and to be glad when they became engaged. Perhaps those self-recriminations are shown by dialogue with Mrs Weston, Miss Smith and Mr Knightley, and in her private reflections, more than by actions (in the films) but they are there.

Furthermore, one cannot judge a Jane Austen novel (well, ANY novel!) by a film adaptation, which is at best an adulteration of the book by a committee of screenwriters, producers, casting agents and performers.

The book is partly about one young woman growing up and learning the limits of her intellectual and social powers. Emma is not intended to be delightful, but she is a realistic portrayal of a type of person anyone might encounter.

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I think it's more of a case of my not liking Emma's personality. She toned her bitchiness down a bit but not enough. At the end of the film, she was still haughty snot.

I'm not judging the books. The films usually never jive with the books anyway.

Never monkey with another monkey's monkey.

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Well, she's supposed to be foolish, and arrogant in the way that youth can be sometimes: she thinks she knows what's best for everyone, and is too busy sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong to notice what's happening in her own life.

That said, I was shocked when she insulted Miss Bates - the poor thing looked so hurt, it made me want to cry! What a bitch Emma was!

"You shouldn't have hit me with that!... You'll ruin the cake!" - Greybags

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I didn't like her either, I thought this movie was romantic and sweet, but turns out I did not like any of the characters (the way they were interpreted) and they lack of chemestry.

Totally disagree with the grade imdb gives to this movie

and yeah, she's exactly as you describe her to be.

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She is the only Austin character that I really didn't care for that much, especially at the beginning when she did that horrible thing to her friend, played by Samantha Morton. That was just plain cruel.

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Jane Austen said that Emma was a "A heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."

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Flawed characters are more interesting than polly perfects. If this story was centered on Jane Fairfax then it would be just another version of Mansfield Park.

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