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Amannda Cheng 11R5 (24397246)

Year 11 Advanced Speaking Assessment Task- Analytical Study of Text


Humility. The quality or condition of being humble. The quality or condition of being
modest and respectful. The trait, that when taught, leads to a better person in the
recipient. One of the main themes in Jane Austens classic novel, Emma. This wellrenowned text follows the protagonist, Emma, on her path to enlightenment and the
influences she has on her protg Harriet. Its classic texts like these which give this
library life. Its classic texts like these which I believe are a must read because of the
inspiring lessons which a responder can gain through doing so. After all, the 2012 National
Year of Reading is not only about teaching children how to read, but also about finding
new sources of inspiration for readers.
Through reading this classic, we learn the importance of humility. In implementing a match
between Harriet and Mr Elton, Emma shows herself to be a manipulator and a poor judge
of character; traits which are often relevant in todays society. Emma misreads Mr Eltons
intentions, whilst also growing seeds of doubt about his character. Austen uses these
seeds of doubt, supported by the narrators commentary (free indirect discourse) to
foreshadow the events to come. Now, imagine being put into situation where you believed
that everything was going your way, until someone proves you wrong. How would you
feel? Angry, humiliated? Thats exactly how Emma felt, shown through the distraught tone
of her speech. It is impossible for me to doubt any longer. You have made yourself too
clear. Mr Elton, my astonishment is beyond anything I can express. As a responder, I
found it quite humorous that Emmas arrogance caught up to her when Mr Elton ironically
declared his love for our protagonist, and not Harriet. Though, we do begin to admire
Emmas growing humility as she begins thinking about the effects this will have on her
protg. She is able to recognise her faults and grow from this, whilst teaching us the
importance of selflessness, a quality which is often considered decreasing in todays
society. Reading classic texts both provides us with a source of entertainment, and also
fascinates us through the lessons portrayed in the actions of the characters.
Harriet, Emmas protg, also reinforces the idea of humility. It is not until after Mr Elton
gets married when she decides to finally approach Emma and burn the two mementoes
she has of him. An old piece of leftover plaster and a useless bit of pencil. Yes, these two
items seem insignificant, but they are largely symbolic of the affection Harriet had for
Elton. Its like fan girls will spend $100,000 on a half eaten piece of vegemite toast which
had been touched by one direction! Miss Woodhouse if you are at leisure - I have
something that I should like to tell you a sort of confession to make and then, you
know, it will all be over. Harriets eager tone shows her willingness to get over Mr Elton,
respecting his current status. Now, weve all heard the story of the girl who thinks shes on
top of the world and make any guy fall in love with her. Maybe this is true in mean girls,
but Harriet shows us that this is not always the case. She grows humble, respects that a
relationship is a two way connection, and moves on. Whats the end result? She finds true
love, and marries the man of her dreams. Through reading Emma, we learn the
importance of humility. Classic texts and the characters within them embody a set of
values and lessons which are key to personal growth. This is what makes them makes
them so valuable within this library. This is what makes them a vital read.
So, classic texts are essential in that they are able to teach us, as responders, important
lessons about life. Jane Austen, the composer of Emma, reflects values of the 18 th century,
to convey a message to her audience. Through the linear structure of the book, we are
able to follow both Emma and Harriet on their journey to achieve humility. But what makes

Amannda Cheng 11R5 (24397246)


Year 11 Advanced Speaking Assessment Task- Analytical Study of Text
classics so special is that these themes that are dealt with in the book have a universal
appeal, and are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of
experience. They are still being published today, nearly 200 years later, because they are
complete, valuable and meaningful. They are able to fascinate us, as the responders,
through the life changing moments of the characters. So let me challenge you. Walk away
from this talk, borrow a classic text from the shelves on my left, and indulge in something
which could possible change your life. Get involved in the 2012 National Year of Reading.
Make this library your second home.