Volume one, Chapter eight is devoted, almost entirely, to describing a debate between Emma and Mr. Knightely concerning Harriet Smith, and her rejection of Robert Martin’s marriage proposal. Who do you most agree with? Do you side with Mr. Knightley, believing Miss Smith, in becoming friends with Emma, is beginning to think too highly of herself? Or do you, like Emma, believe Miss Smith’s rejection of fair deliberation?
i agree with mr. knightley. throughout the novel, it seems like he has everyone's best interests in mind, and knows the limits of society for all characters, whereas emma seems pretty biased in that area. i dont think harriet thinks "too much" of herself, i believe she's only acting according to please and more importantly, keep her newest bff. but i also dont think it was fair deliberation. harriet is the type of person to just be a push over, to let her friends influence her to the point of not going with her own instincts and judgements (and on the other hand, harriet is a very gentle soul, and probably doesnt see that such influences are taking place). mr. knightley is correct in thinking emma has too much power over harriet, but to come to emma's aid, she let harriet have the final word on martin's proposal and only approved of harriet after she chose "correctly."
i think all the characters are a bit too meddlesome anyways. theyd fit right in with a scoobydoo episode.