Anyone else find themselves equaling grinning over Emma’s antics and sighing with frustration over her meddling?
Let me officially welcome you to our March Book Club discussion! This month we are reading Jane Austen’s Emma.
First, for a bit of background. Jane Austen was born in December of 1775, and she started writing at a young age. Emma was published in 1815, following earlier works by Austen like Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. Shortly after Emma’s publication, Austen’s health began to deteriorate, and she died in 1817.
As we start this book and look at Chapters 1-14, we get introduced to a host of characters that are a part of Emma’s life. Here’s a quick glance at our main list of friends, with an added bonus: a guess at each character’s Enneagram type (thanks to my friend Kristin for helping me with these).
Emma: witty, smart, conversational, caring; our heroine loves to be involved in the lives of people around her, whether it is dropping in for a visit to someone who is sick or hurting, or investing in her friends (and their future marriages). I am thinking Miss Emma is a 2, the supportive advisor/helper.
Mr. Woodhouse: Emma’s father is content to stay at home, and his anxieties are always at the forefront of his mind. The leftover wedding cake from Mr. and Mrs. Weston is a prime example—it was too rich for him and he found it hard to believe it could be agreeable for anyone else. I recognize that constant need to scan the horizon as a fellow Enneagram 6, the loyal guardian.
Mr. Knightley: kind, reserved, intellectual, he isn’t afraid to let Emma know when she strays too far from caring to interference. He views life much more objectively than Emma and is a good friend to both her and Mr. Woodhouse. What do you think? Type 5, the investigative thinker, or Type 1, the moral perfectionist?
Harriet Smith: Emma’s newest friend is understanding, peace-loving, and depends greatly on Emma for guidance and advice. Harriet strikes me as a Type 9, the peaceful mediator. She seems content to let others do the leading.
Mr. Elton: the local vicar; I haven’t decided if I like the man or not. He is an eager companion of the Woodhouses and Harriet, and so far seems to be going along with Emma’s matchmaking plans. Could he also be an easy-going 9? Or an I’m-up-for-anything 7?
What do you think? Who is your favorite character so far? Am I right in my Enneagram typing?
Emma believes she had a hand in bringing Mr. and Mrs. Weston together and she exerts the same influence over her new friend Harriet and the vicar, Mr. Elton. I’ve always loved the idea of introducing someone to their future spouse, or being an advocate in another’s story. I’m also just waiting right here for someone to do that for me (insert a silly grin, but also, quite seriously, I’m up for any introductions you might want to make). I’m curious- did you have someone playing matchmaker in your own love story? Did it work? Share your story with us!
What do you think of Emma so far? Would you enjoy the social calls, society rules and parties of that day? Come share your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the book:
March 17th: Chapters 15-29
March 24th: Chapters 30-43
March 31st: Chapters 44-55
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