In the novel Emma, the author, Jane Austen, uses many different techniques to characterize Miss Bates as a woman with no intellect, but a very kind heart. Miss Bates in a humorous character who is loved and loving. Austen’s diction is one such technique used to characterize Miss Bates. Miss Bates is a “contented” old woman with certain “cheerfulness” to her nature.
Miss Bates always has good intentions and is always a happy, joyful woman. Her good will towards others makes her such a popular woman even though she has no husband and no physical beauty. Miss Bates had a splendid “simplicity” about her, and everyone in the town of Highbury enjoyed her “grateful” spirit. Miss Bates appreciates the small things in life, and never receives any satisfaction from fancy, frilly things.
She likes to keep life simple and she is appreciative of every simple gesture bestowed upon her. Miss Bates very much enjoys the companionship of her friends and neighbours more than anything in the world. Miss Bates seems to most people in the town to be a “silly” old woman who was quite “poor”, but has many blessings in her life. Not only does Miss Bates have her friends, she also has her mother and a wonderful home that wants for nothing.
... -awareness and no information is offered about her apparently empty life. Miss Brill is starving for tenderness and companionship. The lack of ... fine old man" (319) while the woman is referred to as "a big old woman" (319). She even takes a hostile attitude ... ungrateful wife. These observations suggest that Miss Brill shows envy and disgust for the women at the park who have male companionship ...
Miss Bates has a amiable personality that has helped her to become a popular woman. Jane Austen’s detail allows the reader to see another apparent character trait in Miss Bates, her lack of intelligence. Miss Bates has “no intellectual superiority” and “never boasted beauty of cleverness.” Perhaps her lack of intellect is the reason a few people of Highbury were annoyed by Miss Bates. She did have some wisdom, though. Miss Bates was not totally ignorant.
Indeed, there is much practical wisdom, genuine concern, and touching kindness peppered throughout her humble flow of eager-to-please manner. She had trouble recognizing when she was doing or saying something wrong. On the other hand, Miss Bates is a “great talker upon little maters” and was “full of harmless gossip” that she wants everyone to know. Miss Bates is the spreader of town news and is interested in everyone’s affairs, another reason her neighbours might have found her annoying at times. Even though Miss Bates is silly and meddles in everyone’s lives, she is a harmless old woman who is loved very much for her generous nature and for the kindness she always offered other people. Jane Austen frequently uses indirect characterization and this is very evident in the description of Miss Bates.
Instead of saying Miss Bates is an unmarried, poor, old, ugly woman, a spinster, Austen chooses to write, “Miss Bates is neither young, handsome, rich or married.” It is as if Jane Austen wants you to like Miss Bates even thought she is lacking quite a few of the characteristics needed in order to be deemed likeable in her society. The ideal woman in Miss Bates’s oci ety is young, pretty, and married or with plans to marry. Miss Bates does have one characteristic most popular women had in Highbury. Miss Bates, along with many other women, does quite a bit of gossiping.
Jane Austen takes some of the harshness out of her tone in describing Miss Bates’ poorer qualities by describing them indirectly. Miss Bates is a kind-hearted woman who loved everybody. Poverty certainly has not contracted her mind. Most everyone enjoys her company; Austen describes her through Emma as someone who is “very much to the taste of everybody.” Miss Bates brought humour and exuberance to Jane Austen’s classic, Emma.
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