Emily Brent is convinced of her own righteousness, and therefore she views herself as somewhat removed from the events of the novel. She is 65 years old, a devout Christian, and an incredibly moralistic woman. She sees her own position in society as a result of her good upbringing and behavior, and she views people less fortunate than her with derision because she assumes they have done something wrong. When Emily is first introduced, she bemoans the modern reliance on comfort as a way for people to become spoiled and entitled. On the island, Emily immediately ingratiates herself with Vera because Vera seems like the right sort of girl based entirely on impression. Emily never has any true conversation with Vera to gain a sense of the other woman’s personality and lifestyle. Emily knows that Vera works at a school and, although Emily doesn’t necessarily approve of the school itself, she thinks Vera has a respectable place in society.
When the recording lists accusations of each character, Emily truly believes she is above reproach. She tells Vera later that her former maid, Beatrice Taylor, got pregnant out of wedlock, so Emily fired her and told the girl’s parents about her condition. Beatrice, without any resources or support system, drowned herself afterward. In Emily’s estimation, Beatrice’s suicide only makes her more depraved, and Emily sees Beatrice’s death as divine justice. Vera is horrified when Emily tells her this story because she can see complete sincerity in Emily’s eyes, and Emily does not feel guilty for Beatrice’s death in the slightest. However, there does seem to be some subconscious part of Emily that recognizes the cruelty in her actions, because she does write about Beatrice in her journal while in a trance. Still, Emily’s rigid principles prevent her from seeing events from any perspective other than her own. When it becomes clear there is a murderer on the island, she blames the devil and assumes she, a good Christian woman, will be exempt from the killing. Ironically, it is her callous rigidity that marks her guilt in the eyes of the murderer.