This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing The Text And The Two Filmed Versions Of Jane Austen's Emma

2399 words - 10 pages

Comparing the Text and the Two Filmed Versions of Jane Austen's Emma

 
After reading Jane Austen's Emma, then viewing the BBC production and Miramax films based on the novel one can understand why most authors are horrified over the translation of their novels into film.  The two film versions are quite different from one another, but both take such liberties with the original text as to wonder why the film makers of each even bothered with Austen's work.  The BBC production encompasses more of the tone and atmosphere of the text, the polite, mannered, upper-class social milieu of Victorian England than does the Miramax version, but both make interpretations of the text that belie the filmmakers' agenda than they do of Austen's own.  The films are different from the novel in many ways, including characterization, setting, action, dialogue and theme.  For example, the Miramax version of Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow portrays an Emma who is more like cupid armed with the bow of modern feminism.  In the BBC version, Emma is not portrayed as lightly and as humorous.  Instead, she is turned into a bantering harpy who lacks much of the charm of Austen's Emma.  This analysis will compare the first chapter of Emma with the corresponding opening scene in each film.  By doing so, we will see not only many differences among them (including some obtrusive additions on behalf of the films), but we will also see how the filmmakers differed in their interpretation of Austen's original.

The opening scene of each film directly corresponds to the first chapter of Austen's novel.  In the text this chapter describes Emma Woodhouse as spoiled and self-willed, convinced she knows what is right for other people particularly when it comes to affairs of the heart.  The chapter also informs us of the marriage of Emma's governess, Miss Taylor, as well as introducing us to Mr. Knightley and Emma's father.  We also here of Mr. Weston and Mr. Elton.  If we look at some of the particulars of this chapter and each scene, we can see how dramatically all three differ.  The opening two pages of the novel are all expository, regarding Emma's disposition, her upbringing and her relationship with Miss Taylor.  The marriage of Miss Taylor and her subsequent loss are greatly affecting Emma's mood.  In the Miramax film version of Emma, the first scene opens by showing a universe and a spinning planet whose trials of stars leads into a trail of the characters in the film like a cosmic genealogy.  A voice over by Paltrow reminds us that the world we are about to enter was one which fit into the palm of one's hand, and wherein an elegant dance drew more excitement than war.  We open at the actual wedding of Miss Taylor, something that is only alluded to in the book.  The wedding is also only alluded to in the BBC version.  While the Paltrow version makes this change, it does add more excitement and visual richness to the opening in comparison to the other two. 

 

From this...

Find Another Essay On Comparing the Text and the Two Filmed Versions of Jane Austen's Emma

Jane Austen's Emma Essay

1880 words - 8 pages . Emma highlights the idea that women have only two good choices in society – to get married or become a governess (Parkinson in Cookson & Loughrey 1988:24). This essay shall examine the character of Emma with particular reference to the idea that Emma has ‘a mind delighted with its own ideas’ (Austen 1994:19). The characters of Harriet and Jane will be used to show how Emma’s ideas are often not based on reality but on her own preconceived

Approaches to Reading Text with Examples from Jane Austen's Emma

3589 words - 14 pages This paper presents the two of the four main reading approaches to reading a text. In this paper, Jane Austen’s novel Emma will be used to demonstrate these approaches; providing a detailed description into both reading practice, including reader-centred and author-centred. As it is now widely acknowledged that no text is neutral, these practices are one way of conceptualising changes in the theories and practices of literary study that

Views of Marriage in Jane Austen's Emma

857 words - 3 pages Views of Marriage in Jane Austen's Emma The dominant theme that constantly runs through this novel is that of marriage. All of the important activities of the novel are focused around various attempts from Emma, to arrange them, prevent them, or hinder them; this idea is empathized in both chapter 1, where Emma replies in discussion to Miss Taylor's marriage "I made up my mind on the subject. I planned the match from that hour", and in

How Jane Austen's "Emma" misread the signs regarding Mr. Elton, Harriet and herself?

1633 words - 7 pages Emma Woodhouse, from Jane Austen's novel "Emma," is a conceited and wilful young woman, who fancies herself a real matchmaker. However, as Emma attempts to match-make Mr. Elton and her new companion Miss Harriet Smith, she misreads the intentions of the people involved. By being unable to correctly read the signs regarding Mr. Elton, Harriet and herself, she finds herself in a tangled web of deceit and misconception.Miss Emma Woodhouse is twenty

Jane Austen's Approach to the Character Emma in Pride and Prejudice

2444 words - 10 pages Jane Austen's Approach to the Character Emma in Pride and Prejudice 'Handsome, clever and rich' are the complimentary words Jane Austen lavishes upon Emma; accurate as they may be, they paint a picture contrary to the Emma portrayed during the first half of the novel. Set against the nineteenth century patriarchal society, structured by the privileges and constraints of money and status, both of which she acquires, a

Character Analysis of Emma in Jane Austen's "Emma"

1134 words - 5 pages `Emma' was written by Jane Austen in 1816. In all her novels, she is primarily a moral writer, striving to establish criteria of sound judgement and right conduct in human life. In Emma she presents her lesson so astutely and so dramatically, with such a minimum of exposition, that she places extreme demands upon the reader's perceptiveness. Emma was her fourth novel. Lord David Cecil described it as `Jane Austen's profoundest comedy'. It

Comparing the Two Versions of To Build a Fire

1094 words - 4 pages , Cloudesly Johns, explaining his philosophy on good fiction writing. This letter is an invaluable resource when studying the work of Jack London, especially when comparing the two versions of "To Build a Fire." London emphasized quite a bit in this letter with many exclamation points and capital letters. That was only because of the passion with which he was writing about writing. His main point was to not be to scientific, or "empirically" (530

Comparing The Presentation Of Two Film Versions Of The Prologue To Romeo And Juliet

3017 words - 12 pages Comparing The Presentation Of Two Film Versions Of The Prologue To Romeo And Juliet I have been scrutinizing Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli's unique styles of interpreting Shakespeare's, late 1590 's, play prologue: Romeo and Juliet. (To be truthful when I first found out I was going to be studying Romeo and Juliet, I thought I was about to pull my hair out! Image having to watch two Shakespeare play prologues, let

Essay on Mr.Woodhouse and Miss Bates in Jane Austen's Emma

1679 words - 7 pages Miss Bates might seem more like caricatures than characters, but through their presence we gain perspective on Emma's progression to adulthood. They are also two well-rounded and interesting people, not the simple one-dimensional beings that Scott seems to see. Bibliography Berendsen, Marjet. Reading character in Jane Austen's Emma. Assen, Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1991. Birtwistle, Sue, and Susie Conklin. The making of Jane Austen's

Genteel People and Honest Hearts in Jane Austen's Emma

1603 words - 6 pages . Craik, W. A. The Development of Jane Austen's comic art: Emma: Jane Austen's mature comic art. London: Audio Learning, 1978. Sound recording; 1 cassette; 2-track. mono. Gard, Roger, [1936- ]. Jane Austen, Emma and Persuasion. Harmondsworth : Penguin, Penguin masterstudies [series], 1985. Jefferson, D. W. (Douglas William), [1912- ]. Jane Austen's Emma: a landmark in English fiction. London: Chatto and Windus for Sussex University Press, Text and

Lizzy or Emma - A Critique of Jane Austen's Heroines

2294 words - 9 pages manuscript of First Impressions was also drafted in epistolary form. As the manuscript is lost the writing of the draft remains unknown. In all of the novels Jane Austen has given a vivid variety of female leads. Fanny Price in Mansfield Park (1814) is the meek and gentle protagonist. Her contrast is smart and witty Elizabeth Bennet. In this paper I focus on two of Austen’s female protagonists - Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse. I believe that

Similar Essays

The Flawed Character Of Emma Woodhouse In Jane Austen's Emma

2159 words - 9 pages The Flawed Character of Emma Woodhouse      In Emma Woodhouse, Jane Austen has created a wonderfully flawed heroine. Had Emma been perfect, her situation would have been of no interest to anyone; her flaws are what interest both reader and critic. Peter W. Graham is interested particularly with the first page of the novel where Emma is first introduced to the reader. He discusses how significant the beginning of the novel is to mapping

Comparing The Role Of Women In Emma And Jane Eyre

1561 words - 6 pages genius or intelligence could do." (pg.142)   Emma starts realized that she is not above Harriet any more.  Emma has her encounter with Jane Fairfax, an elegant and accomplished person.  Emma dislikes that Jane has met Frank Churchill.  Where Emma has somewhat of crush for Frank Churchill even though they have never met before.  For when the two meet Emma becomes inhibited by Churchill that is no

An Essay Analysing The Transformation Of Ideas And Context From The Original Text Jane Austen's Emma To The Appropriated Text Amy Heckerlings Clueless To Suit A Modern Day Audience

2943 words - 12 pages Printed below is the beginning of an essay on the novel Emma and the film Clueless. Finish the essay in your own words and thoughts to explain how the ideas in the original text (Emma) have been changed, in the appropriated text (Clueless), to suit a new, more modern context and audience.Emma and CluelessThe 1993 hit film Clueless, written and directed by Amy Heckerling, exemplifies how popular culture re-appropriates Austen's novels to serve

Jane Austen's Emma Essay

1952 words - 8 pages Jane Austen's Emma Beautiful dresses, passionate romances, elegant parties, a general state of leisure and happiness – these are only a few of the idealistic views of the nineteenth century. In her novel, Emma, Jane Austen paints a much more realistic picture of the ins and outs of high society in England of the 1800’s. Through the presumptions and pride of the characters of heroine, Emma Woodhouse, and secondary character, Mrs. Elton