Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Villain in Emma

[My apologies...I scheduled this post to publish on the 24th, but it didn't work.]

Since there was more than usual discussion about this poll, I thought I should do a post about the results.

 "Who was the villain in Emma?"
-Frank Churchill - 3 votes
-Mr. Elton - 10 votes
-There was none - 4 votes

 And, do you know, this is one of the few times I voted for something else than what won. I voted for Frank Churchill, because:

 Frank Churchill was openly trying to deceive people and pretending to be something he was not - Mr. Elton didn't do either of these things. I think in general, Frank caused more purposeful pain than did Mr. Elton. Mr. Elton was very rude when he slighted Harriet at the ball, but that was an act of conceit and not deceit. Frank was not only flirting with Emma in front of his fiancĂ©e, but (probably behind her back) was actually criticizing her any way he could. And then, at least on the movies, I think he has this pompous air about him which is quite appropriate for a villain. He seems more similar in following the villain pattern - he made other people think he was interested in the heroine, when he really wasn't. (Like Wickham, and like Willoughby before he had real affection for Marianne.) I have more thoughts on the subject, but I can't think of them at the moment.
One thing interesting to me is that when I ask people in "real life" this question, most of them say Frank Churchill! They just didn't vote in the poll. ;)

Anyways, I do agree that Mr. Elton is a total jerk, and I think he probably deserves the title “villain”. Well, almost. Maybe neither of them do – or maybe both of them. It can be considered that there are TWO villains in Emma, as Mel mentioned.

In any case, I think that Frank is a rascal (at best) and they are both scoundrels, if not villains.

However, I do not agree with some that Emma is in the villain in Emma. I think she’s just a mistaken heroine-to-be who has a few lessons to learn, and she does learn them.
Besides, how could Mr. Knightley love a villain? ;-) (Or villainess, I suppose.)

Thanks to everyone who voted! It’s been fun.
And Mr. Elton – congratulations! You win the award for Most Abhorred.

 I was thinking of something the other day...each of the 3 main ladies in Emma were at some point either suspected of or they actually were in love with both the 2 main gentlemen, and/or vice versa. If Mr. Elton was thrown into the mix, the only one that missed the suspicion of being a match with him was Jane Fairfax, but then she wasn't in Highbury soon enough.
Allow me to demonstrate:
Before I end this post, I will also add that I should be starting my section on Persuasion in 1-3 weeks.

P.S. This is very off-topic: but, am I the only one who thinks "Dashwood" when I see "Dashboard" in the corner? Oh dear...

6 comments:

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

You make pretty good points about Frank Churchill... Before, I said that Mr. Elton was more the villain, but now I'm not so sure...

Although, when you compare them with Wickham and Willoughby, they aren't nearly as bad; Wickham and Willoughby ruined lives while Frank Churchill and Mr. Elton more messed with people's heads. I would say that Frank Churchill and Mr. Elton are more scoundrels than villains.

This was something great to think about! Can't wait for the Persuasion movie post!

Melody said...

Why thank you, Miss Bennet. hehe

I know; that's what's so different about Emma...it really lacks an evil villain! Of course, John Thorpe didn't really ruin lives, and he's definitely the villain in Northanger Abbey.

Kathryn Ross said...

I agree - Churchill's get's the bad guy award here. Elton is just a fool. Though, as Lizzie points out in her comment - not so bad a guy as Wickham and Willoughby. Character counts. That's the bottom line.
Joy!
Miss Kathy

Miss Dashwood said...

Mr. Elton gets the award for most abhorred... Sink me, m'dear, you are a bit of a poet and you did not know it, what?

Or in the words of Poo-Bah, "Shakespeare's a poet and doesn't know it." Swellissimus, dear. :D

Oh, and I'd say Mr. Elton is more of a villain than Frank. Honestly, I do rather like Frank. Maybe it's just Rupert Evans' portrayal of him, I dunno, but I can't help liking him. At least at first. He and Jane just seem so happy when they finally DO get together... I just feel all happy inside for them.

But on the othah hand, poor Jane had such a hard time of it and Frank was so mean to her. And he did deliberately deceive everybody. Whether he led Emmer on deliberately to make her think he liked her... that's debatable. So yeah, I can't help liking him a little, but I also can't help seeing all his bad points and shaking my head over them. That young man... is not quite the thing. (I'm quoting the button you made for my contest back in January, heehee.)

Melody said...

Miss Dashwood,
Hehe, true, I didn't know it. Actually half the time when you say the poet quote, I have to re-read over whatever it was to see what rhymed... haha. :)
Haha... Poo-Bah always MMG. :)

Ugh... I've done enough arguing with you about Bad Frank to last forever. A few years, at least. :P
All I can say is, you might like him less when you read the book again. 'Cause I didn't dislike him from the beginning nearly as much as I do now. And I can't help feeling sorry for Jane, unless Frank really WILL mend his ways. Which I do sometimes doubt.

"Disguise of every kind is my abhorrence" and Frank had more than disguise.

(Well, I was GOING to try to stop talking about it. :P)

It's debatable that Frank was trying to make Emma think he liked her, BUT it was obvious he was trying to make everyone else thing that he liked her. :P He claims near the end of the book that he thought they had some sort of understanding and she had him all figured out. Ha, ha, ha.

Anyways. I'd still say Frank fits in more with the 'villain distinctions' than Mr. Elton does. But I can't stand Mr. Elton either. Maybe the villain in Emma is just Mreltonandfrank. Haha. There's enough bad in them together to make a villain, p'haps?

Melody said...

Amy- Hahaha look at our old arguments aren't they cute. :P

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