How was she to bear the change?

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Emma (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Vol: Volume I | Ch: Chapter I

The question sounds a dominant motif of the novel—change (see the first annotation and that in a moment to "melancholy change"). Emma itself is set in what seems an island of quiet stability, the timeless English village of Highbury, but the period in which the novel takes place is fraught with change (see the introductory annotation and that shortly on "a melancholy change"). Emma herself, we've seen, is changing just when she was most satisfied with her apparent completeness. Highbury has the seeds of change: a just consummated marriage; a wealthy, handsome, and smart twenty-year old; an attractive, single "love-child"; a young, single clergyman who has recently moved to Highbury; and others whom we'll soon meet.

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