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Emma: Genteel People and Honest Hearts In Emma, Jane Austen provides us ‘only the top of lives of genteel people’? Though definitely not a commonly used term today, this is of ‘genteel people’ is easily assumed. Great birth and breeding aren't necessarily the only ‘characteristics’ of genteel people: basic generosity, courtesy and beauty can apply, along with marriage in to the class. A lot of the characters in Emma somewhat expand this definition to supply exceptions to the guideline or abuses of the name. In this manner the characters offer an interesting response to the question of whether Austen actually handles genteel people. Miss and mrs Bates are genteel people and of genteel birth. They are well educated and well spoken and readily invited in to the Woodhouse circle. This top quality is illustrated at Boxhill during Mr Knightley’s vehement reprimand of Emma’s cutting remark: ‘she has seen you grow up from an interval when her notice of you was an honour.’ Of program, they possess since slipped in value, but retain their social placement nonetheless. Mrs. Elton gets the money, however, not the connections or personality to be looked at genteel. Her marriage to a vicar as Mr Elton has raised her a class, but she's obviously not had the breeding to be comfortable in such high society, as she shows by dropping Maple Grove into conversations continually, and justifying her talents: ‘well, my friends say’ Harriet Smith obviously isn't genteel by birth, being the ‘natural daughter of somebody’ but Emma invents her parentage with regard to the love games. The initial modesty and humility that Harriet enjoys are accentuated and extended beneath the careful treatment of Emma. Th...