Emma is a strong character. She believes in the good of others and seems always anxious to lend her own strength to anyone in need. When some fear that an outbreak of typhoid is because they've provoked the wrath of God, Em is quick to point out that God would not punish them for doing what they believe to be right. Even Ish, who is a solitary person by nature, tends to draw strength from Em whenever he begins to doubt himself. Em can see past the immediate present to realize that there is a purpose to having children. When Ish is afraid of the dangers and feels there is no reason for it, Em reminds him that his view means mankind would simply die out.