I confess to not reading Jane Austin, and Emma was never on my list of must reads. But this summer I’m taking a writing class at Oxford, and Emma is on my suggested reading list.
Wanting to make up my own mind, I avoided the Intro and Preface and all the notes. I went straight to the story. It only took me a few pages to dislike the main character. She was shallow and thought too highly of herself. I expect if she lived today, she’d be a like-like girl, like you know, like, like. She was a person with too much time on her hands and not enough experience with real life.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after my declaring that I hated the main character to an agent and railing about Emma’s uselessness in a world full of grief and uncertainty, that I had my epiphany.
Yah. It’s satire. It’s a comedy. Austin is making fun of the lifestyle. Head thunk.
In my defense, I believe my knee-jerk reaction is because I just finished, The Great Gatsby, another book on the list. It is also about the culture of those who are wealthy and bored and choose to live a life without goals, needs, or purpose.
Adding to my cranky attitude, I have come to the conclusion that one of the presidential candidates is running because he is wealthy, bored, and causing an uproar is a fun, Ha-Ha game. However, to me the idea of him as POTUS is not amusing and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Having realized where my reaction was coming from, I’m going to do an about face. I may dislike the character, but the story is well written. I’ll finish Emma today. And then I’ll read all the notes, intros, and prefaces. I expect had I done so before reading the story, I would not have put both feet in my mouth this last weekend.
Gak. It’s a classic YA.