Emma’s control of Harriet’s marriage cannot be said to be selfish. She did care and love Harriet, and throughout much of the book she is seen worrying about Harriet’s marriage and drawing inspiration from it herself. Out of an intolerable conceit, she fancied she knew the secrets of every man’s affections. As it turned out, she did it all wrong. But when she learned that Harriet was in love with Knightley, she suddenly discovered that she had always been in love with him. In a sharp turn of events, she and Knightley become husband and wife. She had objected to Harriet’s marrying Martin, and was glad that they were at last united. In Emma’s opinion, Martin was as unfit to be Harriet’s husband as Harriet was unfit to be Knightley’s wife.
Marriage should be matched by family, which was exactly the marriage relationship in the society at that time. The solution to women’s problems (including marriage problems naturally) put forward by Austen was serious, but her works added comedy color. At the beginning of the 19th century, sentimental novels were popular in England, and Austen’s realistic novels gave readers a fresh breath.
In her novel Emma, Austen tells most of the family trifles in ordinary life, and the author creates a female image with intelligence and independent thinking. Emma, the protagonist, demands the equality of men and women in the patriarchal society, and has her own clear views and values on marriage. It also reflects the feminist views of Austen to some extent. With her unique perspective of supporting women, Austen profoundly cut through the reality of the society controlled by men and the situation of women in social life. The author criticizes the unfair phenomenon of male superiority and female inferiority while affirming the social status of women. Therefore, to a certain extent, this novel has far-reaching social practical significance.