Shall we speak of Frank Churchill? Now that his character is known to one and all, let’s start by reading this borrowed character analysis with my comments inserted for I find I am much like Mr. Knightley in this regard:
“It will be natural for me,” he added shortly afterwards, “to speak my opinion aloud as I read.”
Ask any student that has had me read aloud to them whether it be a novel or a history lesson, there will be added commentary as I go. It is only natural. 😉 But I digress — on to the analysis.
Is this how you would describe Frank Churchill?
Frank epitomizes attractiveness in speech, manner, and appearance. (Yes, he is all that is charming, is he not. I must say that this charming behaviour was what made me distrust him from the beginning.) He goes out of his way to please everyone, and, while the more perceptive characters question his seriousness, everyone except Knightley is charmed enough to be willing to indulge him. (I do appreciate this about Knightley.) Frank is the character who most resembles Emma, a connection she points out at the novel’s close when she states that “destiny … connect[s] us with two characters so much superior to our own.” (Can you imagine the result if destiny did not? Imagine for a moment Emma as Frank’s wife. I shudder at the thought. Oh, and what would their children be like?) Like Emma, Frank develops over the course of the novel by trading a somewhat vain and superficial perspective on the world for the seriousness brought on by the experience of genuine suffering and love. (Has he really changed? I don’t know that he has. I am not certain that he has as soft a heart or is as caring as Emma. I still do not trust him, and I wish Jane well with managing him.) He is a complex character because though we know we should judge him harshly in moral terms, we cannot help but like him more than he deserves to be liked. (I do like the idea of writing some sort of scene about him and giving him a more evident improvement in character. And I would agree he is liked more than he deserves. 🙂 But that is the way of a charmer!)
Source: “Emma: Analysis of Major Characters.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.
Now, let’s skip over to the Writer’s Block and look at the letter of explanation Frank Churchill sent to Mrs. Weston and that Mrs. Weston forwards on to Emma, who in turn gives it to Mr. Knightley. This time, I am going to interject those comments from Mr. Knightley where I imagine he might have made them while reading. And I shall attempt to keep my thoughts to myself, but that may not be possible. 🙂