Originally Posted by Billi
It's funny that Fanny/Edmund are the "modern" people and the Crawfords the "old fashioned" ones in this case.
I sometimes have the strange feeling that many of the Austen villains are in some way the modern people, who - unintentionally - stand for a change in the society/way of life, for breaking the conventions (little symbols like Mr. Elliot and travelling on Sundays, Mary Crawford in her critics of the church service, even Lydia Bennet in running away with the man she loves...).
You've hit on the reason, I think, why Emma
is my favorite of all the novels. It's the one where social upheaval is most manifest, I think, from the assembly room that is no longer used (because there aren't enough "good" families in the neighborhood) to Robert Martin as an up-and-comer. There's more going on in Austen in terms of social commentary than either the naysayers or the ones reading only for the romance realize.