Heartwarming / Emma

  • The alfresco strawberry picking party at Donwell Abbey. It radiates heart-warmth. Mr. Knightley's estate is a paradise in England. The abundance of strawberries and orchard trees in bloom — oddly unseasonal for June — but it fits to the idea of pastoral countryside.
  • This mental rant of Emma's:
    Emma: There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart. There is nothing to be compared to it. Warmth and tenderness of heart, with an affectionate, open manner, will beat all the clearness of head in the world, for attraction, I am sure it will. It is tenderness of heart which makes my dear father so generally beloved — which gives Isabella all her popularity. — I have it not —but I know how to prize and respect it. Harriet is my superior in all the charm and all the felicity it gives. Dear Harriet! I would not change you for the clearest-headed, longest-sighted, best-judging female breathing. Oh! the coldness of a Jane Fairfax! Harriet is worth a hundred such — And for a wife — a sensible man's wife — it is invaluable. I mention no names; but happy the man who changes Emma for Harriet!
  • Mr. Knightley playing with his nieces and nephews. He's a fun uncle who adores them and they love him in turn. Similarly, Emma is a great and loving aunt. The line about her telling her nephews John and Henry a story about Harriet and gypsies and how they corrected her every time she deviated from her original account is very sweet and very accurate. Children always correct the narrators if their stories vary even in the slightest.
  • Mr Knightley's Love Confession to Emma in the Paltrow/Northam version. "I rode through the rain — but I'd ride through worse than that if I could just hear your voice telling me I might at least have some chance to win you...!" Try not to swoon, ladies — but you probably will anyway.
  • Harriet Smith's 'tradesman' father's generous support of his illegitimate daughter is heartwarming considering how easy it would have been for him to ignore his responsibility in the matter. Given the social conditions of their time he basically does everything that can be done for a girl in her position. Open acknowledgement would only trash his reputation - and possibly cost him his livelihood - while doing Harriet no good at all.
  • All of Emma and Jane's interactions near the end of the book. They may not have a chance to be the friends they ought to have been, but they make as good a beginning as they possibly can.
  • Emma caring for her father. You'd think a spirited, energetic young woman would resent having to structure her life around taking care of a hypochondriac father, but Emma loves him absolutely and actually enjoys spending time with him and keeping him happy. Even when she's engaged to Mr. Knightley, she utterly refuses to marry him if it means leaving her father. He decides to move in with her instead so that they can both take care of Mr. Woodhouse.
  • Mr. Knightley's comment to Emma during the ball that she would have picked a better wife for Mr. Elton than he had picked for himself, partially vindicating Emma's attachment to Harriet in the process.
  • Despite professing a dislike of dancing, and having privately expressed his doubts of Harriet Smith, Mr. Knightley asks her to dance after seeing Mr. Elton publicly snub her. In the 2009 version, he very pointedly crosses the room to do so. This act completely wins over Emma, who was becoming quite distressed at her friend's sitting alone despite being caught up in a very energetic dance.
  • Emma and Knightley's conversation after this, where she says his "secret" has been revealed and asks him to ask her to dance the next.
  • While Miss Bates's situation is a tearjerker, her response to it is this trope; she's an almost absurdly happy woman who considers herself perfectly contended and fortunate to have her mother, her niece, and her many, many friends and acquaintances. She's easily the worst-off character in the book, but she's also probably the most cheerful.
  • After all his fickleness and deception earlier in the novel, it's very sweet to see Frank absolutely gushing over Jane Fairfax after their secret is revealed, reassuring the reader that, despite all his faults, he's honestly crazy about her.