In this essay I suggest that what looks like Emma’s odd or surprising behavior (to Mr Knightley) may also be linked to the expression of a distinctive (and attractive) combination of personality traits rather than virtues or vices. In Emma, Austen continues to investigate the reasons or factors relating to both character and situation that contribute to unreasonable or inappropriate modes of conduct, while raising doubts as to whether one can ever grasp, or correctly represent to oneself, not only all the relevant (moral) facts of a tricky situation, but also the full range of one’s own desires and objectives. The mood of the moment, a fledgling agenda, assumptions and interpretations; all such transient factors may have little explanatory potential when it comes to understanding what people are like, but they may nonetheless play a crucial part in any explanation as to why those possessing even the most attractive or fortunate of dispositions will cause pain to others and end up having to endure the experience of a most “disagreeable consciousness.”

"Emma's Extravagance: Jane Austen and the Character-Situation Debate" / Wainwright, Valerie. - STAMPA. - (2016), pp. 102-116.

"Emma's Extravagance: Jane Austen and the Character-Situation Debate"

WAINWRIGHT, VALERIE LINDA
2016

Abstract

In this essay I suggest that what looks like Emma’s odd or surprising behavior (to Mr Knightley) may also be linked to the expression of a distinctive (and attractive) combination of personality traits rather than virtues or vices. In Emma, Austen continues to investigate the reasons or factors relating to both character and situation that contribute to unreasonable or inappropriate modes of conduct, while raising doubts as to whether one can ever grasp, or correctly represent to oneself, not only all the relevant (moral) facts of a tricky situation, but also the full range of one’s own desires and objectives. The mood of the moment, a fledgling agenda, assumptions and interpretations; all such transient factors may have little explanatory potential when it comes to understanding what people are like, but they may nonetheless play a crucial part in any explanation as to why those possessing even the most attractive or fortunate of dispositions will cause pain to others and end up having to endure the experience of a most “disagreeable consciousness.”
9780198715719
Fictional Characters, Real Problems: in search of the ethical content in literature
102
116
Wainwright, Valerie
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/770894
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