When one reads the novels by Jane Austin, they will definitely understand the literary analysis of themes in Emma. The novel was written between 1814 to 1815 and considered as one of the most prominent writeup of 18th century. 

The themes of gender roles, class difference, and marriage are present in Emma so widely.

Literary Analysis of Themes in Emma 

Gender Roles 

Gender is always present as the important aspect in Austen’s novels. In this novel, despite being a confident and a determined girl, Emma had very limited options to look for during that time period. It is evident in the beginning of the novel that she took decision to be financially independent and unmarried. This would keep her at the hierarchy of the social circle because she senses herself as the one who is not a wife material. 

Another character of Jane represents the woman who is financially unstable plus do not possess a high class social status. These factors act like a hurdle in between her dream life.  


The literary analysis of themes in Emma is incomplete without discussing the theme of marriage. In the novel, there are several perceptions where marriage compatibility is calculated. The matching of characters on the basis of looks, social class, financial positions, virtues and whether they have similar talents or not. 

In the eighteenth century where it was difficult for the women to own property or seek proper employment, marriage becomes a necessity. 

Emma is acting as a matchmaker throughout the story and her belief that she is able to match the right people. However, she has to work on her understanding of others and their characters. Austen is pairing people on the basis of their social class in her novel, but she has also highly criticized this system. 

Class difference

The fact that elite class has its influence in 18th century society is evident, which used to rule in every way. The English society was run by the people who were born in high class and are from the well bred families. The lower class was always dependent upon their actions and orders. If they go against the social norms, then consequences would be there. 

At one point, the characters have also used their social standing by bullying the one from other class. At a place, Emma outwits Miss Bates and it was protested by Mr. Knightley as it will set negative example for others. 

Mr. Knightley also sets the example of kindness, heroism, and charity when he asks Harriet for dance. She was refused by Mr. Elton while the offer saves Harriet because Mr. Knightley has better social presence than Eltons. 

The literary analysis of themes in Emma explains the elements, which are the real essence of teh development of this innovative 18th century novel. 


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