Close Reading 2 Essay

Submitted By baileyb0404
Words: 450
Pages: 2

Bailey Buchanan
Philip Cox
English 147 / T16
Close Reading #2
Date submitted February 6 2015

Close reading #2

In chapter ten of Emma, Emma speaking to Harriet, expresses that she has no reason or intention to ever marry because of her status. More exactly she says the following:
Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable old maid! The proper sport of boys and girls, but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as anybody else. (Austen p.117)
This passage makes it clear that Emma does not wish to marry because unlike other woman she does not need economic security from a man. Earlier in the chapter Emma explains that she does not desire to marry because she has not met a man intelligent enough or anyone that she thinks she could truly love. Austen uses words such as “poor old maid” to describe a woman, who without a husband would be considered unfortunate and provoke pity or sympathy, like the character of Miss Bates. The word maid is repeated and can have two separate meanings, one being a virgin woman and another a young unmarried woman. Emma continues on to express that it’s the condition of having little to no wealth that makes the state of living unmarried seen as a disgrace by high-ranking people in society. Because of her wealth Emma states that she will never be deserving of the mockery of being called an old maid. She continues to explain that she will always remain