The Foils In Jane Austen's Emma

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In her writing, Jane Austen used literary techniques to display her character’s integrity, poise, grace and charm, or lack thereof. Throughout most of Austen’s works, a common theme is women and their behavior. In Emma, Jane Austen weaves a story between the differences of society through the actions of a young woman, Emma Woodhouse. The strongest literary technique in Jane Austen’s Emma is the use of a foil. According to, a foil is a character who embodies the qualities that are in contrast to the qualities of another character with the objective being to highlight the traits of the other character. Jane Austen’s use of foils helps to bring out Emma’s flaws.
Jane Fairfax, a woman of charm, grace, beauty and intelligence, is a perfect foil for Emma for several reasons. First, Jane and Emma were raised in different social backgrounds. Unfortunately, Jane’s parents passed away when she was a little girl. Emma, …show more content…

One reason why Jane could be an excellent example of a foil for Emma, is their constant need and desire to set up relationships with others. Emma tries her best to build up relationships between her peers while Jane sets up perfect, yet sometimes ironic, relationships between her many characters. In some ways, both of them want to play match maker. Not only did Jane Austen and Emma Woodhouse have similar hobbies, but they also experienced a similar event that occurred when they were growing up. Just like her character Emma, Austen had a sister and their relationship was similar to that of Emma and Miss Taylor. Jane’s mother once said: “If Cassandra were going to have her head cut off, Jane would insist on sharing her fate.” (Tucker chapter 3). This is similar to the sisterly relationship between Emma and Miss Taylor. Proving, that foils can be formed between acclaimed authors and their

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