“And this persuasion joined to all the rest, made her think that she must be a little in love with him, in spite of every previous determination against it” (190).
This is one of the first times in the novel that we see Emma really express and explore her own feelings of love towards Frank. As we discussed in class, Emma started out initially as self-absorbed, naive, and childish, focusing entirely on sticking her nose into everyone’s business. As the story progressed, however, we have now come to notice Emma’s subtle changes in behavior. After her failed “project” for Harriet and Mr. Elton, Emma’s attitude towards matchmaking began to change ever so slightly. She still thinks about the many potential matches and continues to judge the people in her community based on their status. However, at this point, we have gained a peak into the inner-workings of her personal emotions. At this point in the novel, Emma is in a transitional or growing stage. She is still becoming more acquainted with her own emotions, as demonstrated in this quote, as well as in the beginning of Chapter 31 when she convinces herself that she is not in love at all. These fluctuating emotions demonstrate Emma’s growth while reminding us that Emma still has a long way to go.