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

The Bildungsroman And The Big Screen

2424 words - 10 pages

Abstract — The female bildungsroman, also known as the bildungsromane, is known as a sub-genre of novel where the principle focus of the novel is the education of the protagonist. Literary critic M.H. Abrams defines the bildungsroman as, "the development of the protagonist's mind and character, as [s]he passes from childhood through varied experiences…into maturity and the recognition of [her] identity and role in the world". The character of Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's celebrated novel Pride and Prejudice is one such bildungsroman heroine. The reader is given insight into her psychological development as she matures over the course of the novel. She begins the novel as a clever, but somewhat immature character. While she initially revels in her powers of discernment, she later learns that she has allowed prejudice and her own pride to blind herself to reality. Her education and maturity are the principal foci of the novel and the principle foci of film adaptations of the novel, as well. In order to illustrate this continuing emphasis on development, this paper discusses relevant passages from the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The paper also analyzes how three modern film adaptations deal with the maturation of Elizabeth Bennet-- focusing on the ways they recognize the power of Austen’s coming-of-age narrative and its importance to the plot, independent of the courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth. The three modern adaptations analyzed within are as follows: Pride & Prejudice (2005) directed by Joe Wright, Bride & Prejudice (2004) directed by Gurinder Chadha, and Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) directed by Sharon Maguire.

Elizabeth Bennet overcomes many obstacles on her journey to adulthood. The most profound obstacle she overcomes, however, is her own prejudices driven by her initial inability to perceive with clarity of the people around her. Her prejudice too often blinds her to many salient facts. In the novel and the films, Elizabeth is the focal character. The novel centers itself, excepting few brief narrative interludes, almost exclusively on Elizabeth and her observations. The movies do this as well: Bridget Jones’s Diary is interspersed by voiceover narration from Bridget, the modern English equivalent to Elizabeth Bennet, who struggles with adulthood and uncertainty in her own judgments and perceptions. In this updated version of Jane Austen's novel, Bridget is a single woman in her thirties - an age at which contemporary viewers are more likely to relate with her urgent need to find a place in the world. As with most incarnations of the tale, the audience is invited to relate to the world from Elizabeth’s (counterparts) point of view. Her uncertainty is understood and her misjudgments and prejudices are empathized with by the audience because they can easily identify what led her to make these mistakes.

The way the audience is invited to relate to Elizabeth in the film adaptations is often a deliberate process....

Find Another Essay On The Bildungsroman and the Big Screen

Romeo and Juilet, What was lost in the journey from the stage to the big screen

3202 words - 13 pages he, and many other filmmakers, have constructed for literature that they help to destroy. He knows that people, especially the younger generations, despise reading and have a love affair with the big screen. He also sees theatre as an adversary, threatening to take his customers away from him. In an effort to develop complete control over people, he makes every effort to mock literary quality, making them focus on what they cannot receive from

The Bildungsroman and Pip's Great Expectations

3930 words - 16 pages Great Expectations: Pip's maturation and development from child to man are important characteristics of the genre to which Great Expectations belongs. In structure, Pip's story, Great Expectations, is a Bildungsroman, a novel of development. The Bildungsroman traces the development of a protagonist from his early beginnings--from his education to his first venture into the big city--following his experiences there, and his ultimate self-knowledge and

The English Bildungsroman

1697 words - 7 pages the journey from childhood to adulthood: Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre, George Eliot wrote The Mill on the Floss, and Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield and Great Expectations. All of these novels trace the growth of a child. In this respect, some of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century were part of the genre called the Bildungsroman. In the simplest sense of the word, a Bildungsroman is a novel of the development of a

The Bildungsroman Genre

4230 words - 17 pages bildungsroman novels, or education novels explored people’s emotions and the process of maturing. The bildungsroman is a class of novel that arouse in German literature but later became a worldwide genre. It deals with the theme of someone’s growth as a person from childhood to maturity. The relevance of such a genre is clear if one notices that much of the most significant fiction in the last two centuries has taken this form and, therefore, constitute

Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen

1114 words - 4 pages Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen In Remaking Eden, Lee M. Silver asks three central questions: Who controls life? What counts as life? And what will human life look like in the future? The question Silver does not ask is whether or not human life as we now know and define it will change. Silver sees the advance of genetic engineering as inevitable, due to consumer demand for it as a technology and the unrelenting curiosity of

The Silver Screen Teacher

1545 words - 6 pages , staged melodramas, wax museum displays, epic paintings, and professional storytelling. These earlier forms continued into the century and were supplemented by comic books, radio, and television, but it is the motion picture that came to dominate them all" (Encyclopedia Britannica). The motion picture is proven to be the most powerful mass medium in the United States.The fact that movies are shown on a large screen and in a secluded area also plays a

Jane Eyre and Hard Times as Bildungsroman Novels. This essay examines the traditional bildungsroman novel, using the examples of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Charles Dicken's Hard Times

2360 words - 9 pages make you a gentleman and real gentleman have qualities, which money cannot buy.Once again as seen with Jane Eyre, Pip leaves his home to embark on a journey of education, leaving the forge, which is situated, on the marshes, near the Thames for London. Again this conforms to the typical Bildungsroman novel, where the main character will embark on a journey, usually leaving a small provincial town for the big city, in order to find his trade or

"Novels on the Big Screen: An Argument to Joseph Epstien's Article, "Reel Literature" in the Wall Street Journal"

1172 words - 5 pages loved, and bring it to the big screen. So many great things can come from the evolution. Of coarse, when attempting to do something like this, whoever is directing must remember that there are several important keys to making this transformation a success. It is argued by Joseph Epstein of the Wall Street Journal that movies made from novels "are on the levels of comic books." Obviously movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and James and

The Page Vs. The Screen

596 words - 2 pages "There are dualities within each duality," (Shlain, pg. 431). Perhaps this quote is true in that most everything in this world has a polar opposite. Many contrary terms are easy to recognize and usually have a simple effect on life such as off and on, stop and go, light and dark. However, there exist dualities in which the effects are more difficult to recognize. In reading chapter 35 of The Alphabet and the Goddess, it is shown that the

Seeing Through The Smoke Screen

976 words - 4 pages Whether it is to relieve yourself from stress or whether you are unaware of the effects that smoking has, it is an unacceptable habit to implement in your life. “The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray” -David Byrne. Smoking is a harmful habit and its effects can become a thorn in the side if not avoided or stopped. The only positive aspect to

Big Ideas and the Arts

825 words - 4 pages The arts are included in the early learning standards in the domain of Cognitive Development and General Knowledge, and are a necessary and required component of quality early learning programs. Although the concept of “Big Ideas” per se has not filtered down yet to the field of early childhood education for all ages of children before the recognized, official, and standardized kindergarten learning programs implemented at age five

Similar Essays

The Bildungsroman And The Big Screen: The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet

2770 words - 11 pages The female bildungsroman, also known as the bildungsromane, is known as a sub-genre of novel where the novel's subject is, "the development of the protagonist's mind and character, as [s]he passes from childhood through varied experiences…into maturity and the recognition of [her] identity and role in the world" (Abrams 112-113). The character of Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's celebrated novel Pride and Prejudice is one such bildungsromane

Preparing The Masses For The Big Screen

847 words - 3 pages The film review can be a vital tool that sets the stage for an upcoming release. Through the critic's words, the general nature of a movie can be surmised along with various intricacies that an author will bring to light. Topics such as plot, actors, and movie direction are key components upon which reviews are built. However, those are just the subtle underlings for the critical movie review. In most instances, movies are picked apart by

From Letters To The Big Screen

1103 words - 5 pages director must first find a producer, or someone willing to fund the movie. The producer is responsible for providing the money for the movie’s production. He or she pays the bills so to speak, including paying the cast members and getting the movie onto the big screen. After the producer is hired, the rest of the cast must be hired. This includes but is not limited to, the camera man or woman, editors, stunt doubles, and the actors and actresses

From Letters To The Big Screen

1125 words - 5 pages may make it hard for a director to create a screenplay. You must also think of pleasing all of the fans of the original book. This sets up many obstacles to be overcome. To understand the process you must know what happens between the writing of the novel and the end result of being made to fit on the big screen. Converting a novel into a screenplay is so difficult because of the fact that a director has to take a work that could be up to 500 or