Emma paints a portrait of Harriet because she believes it will draw Mr. Elton’s attention to Harriet. The painting embodies the misunderstandings that take place between the three of them when Mr. Elton praises Harriet with the intent of pleasing Emma. Mr. Elton compliments the painting because of Emma’s talent, but Emma is convinced that it is because of Harriet’s beauty. When Mr. Elton take her painting to London for framing, Emma is certain he is showing Harriet’s picture to his family, but his only interest is in pleasing Emma. The painting is one of several situations that Emma completely misunderstands when she is determined to set up Harriet and Mr. Elton.
Emma (Woodhouse) Knightly
Emma, Jane Austen
Emma (Woodhouse) Knightly, “Harriet’s Portrait,” The Museum of Fictional Literary Artifacts, accessed March 30, 2023, https://mfla.omeka.net/items/show/291.