TO CONTRAST AND COMPARE JANE AUSTEN’S NOVEL “PRIDE AND PREJUDICE” AND IT’S POST-1995 FILM ADAPTATION

(BBC mini-series)

PROBLEM STATEMENT The written piece of literature varies from its film adaptation in certain respects and the two also share some features. RESEARCH QUESTION What are the differences and similarities between Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” and its post-1995 film adaptation (the BBC version). DELIMITATION The researcher will delimit her study by finding out the differences and similarities between Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” and its post-1995 film adaptation (the BBC version) in terms of plot, setting and characterization. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH The significance of this research lies in finding out the differences and similarities of a novel and its film adaptation and thus the comparison and contrast of their impact on the reader and the viewer. To articulate the difference between visual and textual narratives

A writer paints a glorious picture using language as a paintbrush and the reader gets the opportunity to lay down their own interpretations to the vision widening the scope of the author’s original intention. television. culture and mass culture or even the verbal and the visual. this aspect of stimulation of our creative mind is in huge danger today as we starve ourselves from pleasures of book reading and instead indulge in the entertainment media of films. I am aware that fidelity to the book is an important consideration but it is not necessary that the changes the director and screen writer make will destroy the original work. internet and such as we allow them to do all the thinking for us. Books are windows to other worlds and offer those who will discover them. Hence. The film adaptations of books strive to link opposing elements and mentalities __art and commerce. But in terms of film adaptation the reader becomes the viewer.INTRODUCTION “The novel is a narrative that organizes itself in the world. as a reader we sympathize with her plights.through use of elision and interpolation film adaptations may . the unfolding scenes and the switching frames sometimes giving the close-up shots and sometimes the long shots. while the cinema is a world that organizes itself into a narrative” Jean Mitry The question is that do we prefer our own dreams or someone else’s? Imagination is the exercise of our inner mind. individual creativity and collaborative fabrication. Henry fielding bringing us to one of English literature’s most phenomenal novelist __Jane Austen generally acknowledged to be one of the great English novelists. My research is based on the careful contrast and comparison of Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” with the BBC version of the post-1995 film adaptations. setting. endless pleasure. now we have begun to lose the art of imagination and the use of the written language. we get infuriated with her . in the book I have chosen “Pride and Prejudice” the narration is in third-person meaning that the reader is placed at a distance from direct contact . we laugh with her or even crying with her but we fail to comprehend the emotions and turmoil of the other characters like Darcy who till the reading of his letter to Elizabeth remains the villain . The concept of film adaptations has met with great disdain but the artistic idealist cannot ignore the reality that these adaptations will continue to be made. There is nothing more relaxing and exhilarating as losing oneself in the pages of a good book. so it is no surprise that her novels have remained continuously in print from her day to the present. characterization and dialogue. The novel as a narrative form whether artistic or a mass consumer attraction can be traced back to antiquity till the writings of Petronius progressing on to the eighteenth century to the writings of Samuel Richardson. the subtle hints of what is yet to come. the half-veiled expressions keep the viewer guessing but interested . further the research will include the parallels and differences found in terms of plot.the point of view seems vague or rather indirect . Daniel defoe. when aided by a competent author we are able to stimulate the creative area of our mind to produce alternate realities.with the characters the reader is most close to is Elizabeth .

. The closeness of the viewer with the on screen story makes it more quickly comprehendible or rather like being handed to the reader on a plate where little or no imagination is at play. in this case vision. requiring much more conscious participation by the reader to extract value. A movie is thus said by McLuhan to be "hot". “Cool mediums incite critical analysis while hot mediums require little audience participation much like movies and books” (Understanding media.alter the plot or setting adding and subtracting out of the novel. a book which has not been widely been circulated is adapted to screen to inspire people to purchase the book itself. p.) Each of these genres is invaluable and should occupy some place in our lives . demanding a viewer's attention. in order to get the “whole story”. McLuhan also stated that different media invite different degrees of participation on the part of a person who chooses to consume a medium. like the movies. Some movies are original screenplays. they enhance one single sense. Not produced from a book therefore film is the only way to experience them. intensifying one single sense "high definition". Often times. were "hot"—that is. Some media. in such a manner that a person does not need to exert much effort in filling in the details of a movie image and books which due to their minimal presentation of visual detail require a high degree of effort to fill in details that the author may have intended to portray.22. and a comic book to be "cool" and "low definition".the choice of which to pursue at any given time must be a matter of personal taste and convenience.

Her circle may be restricted. She stimulates us to supply what is not there." Some readers carry admiration to the point of sentimental adoration. for them. The subjects are not often elegant. Life. Such readers are often called “Janeites”. as it presents itself to an English gentlewoman peacefully yet actively engaged in her quiet village. her characters are beloved friends and Austen is dear Aunt Jane.” Austen's novels have aroused intense emotional attachments among readers. Austen was "a mistress of much deeper emotion than appears on the surface. by arguing that we watch many of the events on screen from Darcy's vantage point (2-4. but they are finished to nature and with a precision which delights the reader.. using the term to signify the most perfect mastery over the means to her end. sedate. kindly Victorian old maid.” George Henry Lewes. which highlights the importance of environment and upbringing on the development of young people's character and morality. E.LITERATURE REVIEW Jane Austen is generally acknowledged to be one of the great English novelists. but although this is obvious to every reader. but it is complete.. accorded her the status and identified issues that critics would be repeating and arguing about for the next century and a half: “First and foremost let Austen be named. Reviewing for the Quarterly Review (1816). Adaptations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice have been analyzed in numerous scholarly studies. it is equally obvious that she has risked no failures by attempting to delineate that which she has not seen. There are heights and depths in human nature Miss Austen has never scaled nor fathomed. Contemporary reviewers found much to praise in them. a proper. after a short story called The Janeites which Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1924. reminds us something of the merits of the Flemish school of painting. For Virginia Woolf. Her world is a perfect orb. Sir Walter Scott characterized its strengths and weaknesses: “The author's knowledge of the world. there are worlds of passionate existence into which she has never set foot. and the peculiar tact with which she presents characters that the reader cannot fail to recognize. and vital. The BBC drama received praise for its faithfulness to the original novel. is mirrored in her works with a purity and fidelity that must endow them with interest for all time. so it is no surprise that her novels have remained continuously in print from her day to the present. Forster admitted to reading and re-reading her with "the mouth open and the mind closed.." Hopkins's essay is revealing because her thesis that the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice "fetishizes the looks of the heroes" and "foreground[s] that fetishization by a variety of devices" depends upon her argument that the camera continually focuses on Colin Firth as Darcy.M. although high social standing and . the greatest artist that has ever written. and certainly never grand. writing in 1852. 8).

The casting in particular deserves a tilt at a BAFTA British Academy of Film and Television Arts” ”Firth not being in the slightest bit soft and fluffy – and Jennifer Ehle showing the right brand of spirited intelligence as Elizabeth. With everyone slinging themselves about at high speed (the dances. “Pride and Prejudice :a latter comedy”. Bennet". This serial inspired author Helen Fielding to write the popular Bridget Jones. . but was undecided about Alison Steadman's portrayal of Mrs. incisive humor and the "deft" characterization.wealth are not necessarily advantageous. Laughter in the story. saying the television adaptation is "probably as good as it [can get for a literary classic]. even showing Mrs. Bennet on the verge of hysteria in many of the early scenes. it looks like people are doing something you would never have suspected they did in Austen's time: having fun. cleverly wrapped in the ambitions and illusions of a provincial gentry" (The New York Times) critics noted that Davies's focus on sex and money. Gerard Gilbert of (The Independent) recommended the opening episode of the serial one day before the British premiere. Bennet. Pride and Prejudice was honored with several awards. actually involve a bit of sweat). in a first for the genre. can also be linked to the sexual tensions among the different characters. laughter and wit were seen as vulgar and irreverent in Austen's time. The role of Mr. Describing the adaptation as "a witty mix of love stories and social conniving. including a BAFTA Television Award for Jennifer Ehle for "Best Actress" and an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Miniseries or a Special". Jim White praised Andrew Davies for "Injecting into the proceedings a pace and energy which at last provides a visual setting to do justice to the wit of the book. Despite their appeal to modern audiences. brilliantly-photographed melodrama"." The novel's wit shows irony with "unmistakable strains of cynicism. Critically acclaimed and a popular success. The BBC drama made changes and additions "with a view to exposing a character. Miss Bingley. which ranges from irresponsible laughter to laughter at people and laughter of amusement and relief. Besides these adaptations over time other attempts have been made to bring Pride and Prejudice alive on screen such attempts include “Lost in Austen” a TV series. “Bride and prejudice” and of course the 2005 film adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Kiera Knightly . Reviewing the first episode for the same newspaper on the day after transmission. A scene showing Firth in a wet shirt was recognized as "one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history". or adding humor or irony to a situation". The adaptation comically exaggerates the characters of Mrs." He considered Benjamin Whitrow a "real scene-stealer with his Mr. The critical response to Pride and Prejudice was overwhelmingly positive. combined with Austen's wry. Darcy elevated Colin Firth to stardom. laughing at human nature without any real hope of changing it". and Mr. Bennet. prevented the television adaptation from "descending into the realm of a nicelycostumed. Collins.

the novel's first ironic sentence (the exposition): “It is a truth universally acknowledged. which the main characters must face and try to overcome. Many passages relating to appearance or characters' viewpoints were lifted directly from the novel. Inciting incident: first rise of action or conflict. expressing vitality. the adaptation uses additional scenes to hint at Darcy's inability to physically . Falling action: action to follow climax. There are several differences between the plot of the novel “Pride and Prejudice” and the film adaptation most revolve around the fact that screen writers have to add that is interpolation and subtract that is called elision to make sense of the sequence of events in the film or in other words the plot of the film adaptation. Each plot of the story seems to be linked together in unity. While the novel indicates Elizabeth's independence and energy in her three-mile trek to Netherfield. The adaptation instead opens with a view of Darcy's and Bingley's horses as they race across a field toward the Netherfield estate. Development: events that occur in result of first conflict. The BBC drama departs from the late 18th-century vision of emotional restraint and instead visualizes emotions as a modern interpretation of the story.Darcy is often presented in profile by a window or a fireplace when his friends discuss Elizabeth. Resolution: conflict ends and things fall into place. or complement the main plots in order to emphasize and support a character’s actions. Sub-plots can contrast with. parallel. While the novel leaves both Elizabeth and the reader uncertain of Darcy's emotions. the In what is perhaps the most radical fencing and swimming seen in the lake scene in which Darcy’s inner turmoil is brought forth and being one of the most famous scene of the whole series is absent from the book . To translate Austen's emphasis on the heroines' subjective experiences onto film without a witty and intrusive narrator. Conflict: highest point of interest or suspense in story. a series of actions and incidents following one another in chronological order and cause effective relations make up the plot of a story. because of their great length. novels usually have main plot and many sub-plots in their narrative. Elizabeth watches them before breaking into a run herself. Denouement: the characters go back to their lives before conflict. they are normally arranged in a pattern as given below: • • • • • • • Exposition: the beginning of the story.CONTENT CHAPTERS  PLOT: The plot is the map of the story the chain of events that progress through the story. that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Pride and Prejudice) The dialogue above is delegated to Elizabeth in an early scene of the series. Most plots are concerned with development and resolution of conflict.

The film adaptation also has several interpolations that are additions to the original novel to help make the characters seem real the scenes when the Bennet sisters are dressing up for the ball and like when all the men engage in their hobbies like hunting .contain or verbally express his emotional turmoil. When we look at the similarities between the book and the film adaptation there are several to be found. one couple falls in love the other under false first impressions strives to dislike each other. . these are interjected scenes that take the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached to those events that have occurred prior to the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill a crucial back story making the characters read the letters to themselves like Elizabeth read Darcy’s letter in which dialogue is added to clarify from the novel for the modern audience but left the novels dialogue mostly intact. where a non-diegetic voice is broadcasted live in the film. Bennet to go visit Netherfield and his deceptive reluctance and the sentence “I’m sick of Mr. the chemistry between Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is just what ought to be between Darcy and Elizabeth in those intense scenes like when Darcy proposes and Elizabeth refuses. the adaptation of this scene also shows her rebelliousness and love of nature. Later when Jane falls sick Elizabeth makes her three mile trek through muddy countryside to meet her is also a good scene. hence the die is cast as Jane Austen intended it to be so.Bingley” resonates in our minds as we compare the two. bathing. Scholars argue that activities such as billiards. first would be Mrs. along with the voice over flashbacks were also used . when later Lydia elopes with Wickham Darcy comes to the rescue and the reconciliation between Elizabeth and Darcy followed by their marriage so far makes it the closest match to the novel Jane Austen wrote in the eighteenth century. which is a production technique. as the film moves on Jane and Bingley meet at the assembly and so do Elizabeth and Darcy. this problem was solved by using techniques like voice over.the most technically difficult part of the production was the portrayal of the letters. later the friction between Elizabeth and Darcy is tangible at the Netherfield ball. Bennet’s insistent badgering of Mr.

They include places. reinforcing beauty and authenticity. there are three types of settings. When looking at the differences the scenes at the beginning are that of country side instead of an indoor conversation between the bonnets the film version shows two horse riders riding hard in the countryside while Elizabeth after watching the energetic activity in play does her own bit of running through the charming English side both these scenes portray the fact that how vital and full of life they are. “It was a large handsome stone building. His participation in the English landscape is his redemption. The most significant use of nature in the novel is Elizabeth and the Gardiners' visit to Pemberley in Derbyshire. historical period and social circumstances in which each incident of the story takes place. Collins and Lady Catherine. Darcy's gaze through the window works as a movie screen. organize the narrative and sometimes act as the antagonist or a supporting character. living creatures and the time in which things happen. in front. Jane Austen’s Pride and prejudice novel shares many similarities and differences and similarities with the film adaptation in terms of setting. natural surroundings. Elizabeth takes every opportunity to enjoy nature and to escape exposure to Mr. emphasize the character’s qualities and influence the development.but without any artificial appearance”…she had never seen a place for which nature had done more. none of these settings were even hinted of in the novel. the natural beauty of the place is as breathtaking as Austen promised us. It is also where Elizabeth becomes conscious of her love for Darcy. and Elizabeth's appreciation of the beauties of Derbyshire elevates Darcy in her and her relatives' opinion. According to Roberts and Jacobs (2003). Outdoor places. backed by a ridge of high woody hills. The BBC drama makes nature an integral part of the story in the form of Old England. Cultural and historical circumstances. The serial expands on Austen's metaphorical use of landscapes. They also create the atmosphere of each incident. projecting Elizabeth's actions for him and the viewer. was a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater . In contrast. or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by awkward taste. which are as follows: • • • Objects of human manufacture and construction.” The scenes where Elizabeth first sees the Pemberley house in all it’s majesty are very similar to the description above. standing well on b ground. SETTING: Settings are very important in a novel because characters are usually involved deeply with their environments. .

Darcy than Collin Firth or a better Elizabeth than Jennifer Ehle. Davies employed techniques such as voice over. Mr. As for the characters like Jane.the biggest technical difficulty proved to be adapting the long letters in the second half of the story. Austen in her novel describes him as : “He was a tall. likable or unlikable. heavy-looking young man of five and twenty. The character around which the story revolves is called the Protagonist and the villain of the piece is called the Antagonist. There are many types of characters as given below. Bennet etc all were wonderfully portrayed. so that the readers learn to care for what happens to them.they must be presented as good or bad. his manners were not stately but he was still as annoying as portrayed in the novel. According to Tailangkha. Mrs. the look that passes between them when Elizabeth comes to Pemberley as she sits on the piano stool and Darcy sits across the room is evidence to their awesome chemistry that almost sets the screen on fire To portray the characters as real human beings Davies. As for the similarities there can be no better Mr. characters give meaning and life to novels of which length allows them to be described so vividly that the readers feel as if they were alive . He also used flashbacks like when Darcy’s letter is being read his voice over and flashbacks are seen and heard to emphasize the crucial importance they hold. His air was grave and stately and his manners were very formal. Collins. Mary. the screen writer added short backstage scenes such as the Bennet girls dressing up to advertise themselves in the marriage market . Bennet.” But in the film adaptation the actor who played the role was more like a midget. Lydia. Kitty. Flat characters : characters that remain stagnant throughout the story In the novel and the film adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” there are several characters that have been portrayed differently such as Mr. they are very important elements of the novel that attract and impress the reader more than the other elements. CHARACTERS: Characters are people in the novel created by the author.New scenes where men pursue their hobbies like hunting with their peers departed from Jane Austen’s focus on women . • • Round characters: characters that develop along the progression of the story. .

The genre of novels and their film adaptations are both important for us but some things can’t be replaced the essence of book reading or novels will still win at the end of the day regardless of which age and time they are of. setting and Characterization. moments of which become memorable to the movie-goer when epitomized in a catchy snatch of dialogue. Yet the staple ingredient of moving pictures is quick visual movement and mesmerizing music and sound.connected characters. CONCLUSION: On the most fundamental level. I will be exploring the two mediums in terms of plot.RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: The research methodology employed in this thesis is Qualitative involving the comparison and contrast between Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” and the post-1995 film adaptation (the BBC mini series). Those public scenes she dramatizes most often focus the reader on the outward manifestations of some inward embarrassment. Austen's novels are made up of stories which slowly and quietly emerge from the inner life and circumstances of a group of intimately. The narrator's tactful ironies which are not over determined are central to the effect of these books. or frustration from boredom. .Austen's characters may be said to be conceived in terms of how much understanding they have of themselves and other characters while they sit around on chairs or walk side-by-side. none escapes the obligatory still moments of characters simply sitting in a room together -. Now although all of the films made from Austen's novels can offer scenes of beautifully-patterned dancing. misinterpretation.

jimandellen.absoluteastronomy.edu/english/melani/novel_19c/austen/index.brooklyn. Welsh Article: Jane Austen on Film: Or How to Make a Hit by Ellen Moody publish The EastCentral Intelligencer: The Newsletter of the EastCentral/American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 1998).com/items/1195118-books-vs-movies .helium.jrinla. 12 (Sept. N.org/austen/janeausten. 12-17.S.com/BBC-Masterpiece-reviews/pride-and-prejudice http://www.wired.onfilm. ed in Websites: http://academic.ht ml http://www.html http://www.com/topics/Pride_and_Prejudice_(1995_TV_serial http://www.REFERNCES Books: Understanding media by Macluhan Jane Austen Goes to the Movies by Linda Troost The encyclopedia of novels into films by John C Tibetts and James N.com/geekdad/2010/08/great-geek-debates-books-vshttp://www.cuny.

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