I Am Emma Woodhouse

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

When I announce that Emma is my favourite Jane Austen novel most people vocally disagree. Austen wrote the novel with the female heroine, Emma Woodhouse, purposely created for people to dislike. She’s arrogant, inconsiderate of others feelings, and extremely manipulative. Compared to other Austen heroines who are often portrayed as weak women waiting for a man to come to save them, I like how Emma is a bit edgy and needs to be brought back down to reality.

In general, there is a distinct lack of good adaptations of Emma. The Gwenyth Paltrow film from is far too Hollywood for my liking, Clueless is an interesting modern twist on the classic but is only recognisable as a loose adaptation if you are aware of its roots, and the BBC mini-series is a great rainy day watch but is long. The 2020 film is the only direct adaptation that I genuinely enjoyed without getting bored and could see myself regularly watching despite the multiple changes made to the original content. Whilst watching the film, it really clicked in my brain that I am similar to Emma Woodhouse.

Evidence A- I am twenty

This is an obvious comparison, the opening paragraph of the novel states that Emma has “lived nearly twenty-one years in the world”. And how old am I? Twenty!

Evidence B- I’m good at reading people

This is a gift that many people believe they have, but when you’ve got it you know. I personally connect it back to the amount of reading I did as a child, there is nothing you can hide from me (or Emma).

Evidence C- The Father situation

In twenty years I am sure my dad will become Mr Woodhouse. Although I am an only child and Emma has a sister, the consistent worry she has over telling her father things is exactly how I feel when I have to stress my dad out yet again.

Evidence D- I’m only going to get married to Mr Knightley

Bit of an obvious one this one, I love Mr Knightley. He is the true leader of Austen men (Mr Darcy who?) and deserves all the love in the world. Obviously, Emma marries him, and that will be me soon. In the meantime, I’ll wait for him.

Evidence E- Miss Bates = your mum’s annoying friend

We ALL know someone like Miss Bates, and it’s usually your mum’s annoying friend. They never shut up about someone who you really have no connection to, yet your brain is undeservedly filled with niche knowledge about their life. Do I care? No. Pray you never bump into them in Sainsbury’s or they call on a long car journey.

Evidence F- Jane Fairfax

Similarly to Miss Bates, we all know a ‘Jane Fairfax’. Specifically, my entire life I have been compared and probably fell slightly behind a Jane Fairfax. Don’t feel sorry for me, usually, I give in to their success and accept my failure at some point. Jane Fairfax is always slightly better than you, prettier, and more popular: you will never beat Jane Fairfax.

Evidence G- My life has been pretty easy

Although the sound of my glass bowl smashing on the ground last week made my heartache for a solid 15 minutes, my life has been relatively straight forward. Sure, there have been some hardships I’ve had to overcome, but I and Emma have never had to go through incredible intense pain or disaster. Sisters!

Evidence H- I am slightly musically gifted

This comparison is a bit of a push, I can play the basic tune of Super Trouper by ABBA on the keyboard. Emma can probably play more than a few lines of an ABBA song on the piano, but she’s definitely not the next Beethoven, and obviously, neither am I.

Note: Beethoven was 45 when Emma was originally published, so this comparison IS historically accurate don’t come @ me!

Evidence I- I never know when people like me

This happened like twice, but it still counts. Emma had no idea Mr Elton had a thing for her and wasn’t aware of Mr Knightley’s affection until it was pretty obvious. I’ve been told a couple of times that I too am blind to people having any sort of interest in me, a quality I worry about most days.

As proven, I am Emma Woodhouse. Obviously there are some differences, I am brunette and she is blonde, but that’s basically everything.

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