Adaptations of Austen: How Does Multimedia Impact Our Ability to Read Between the Lines of Pride and Prejudice and Emma?
Wiesenberg, Elka Basya
Yeshiva University, degree granting institution.
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This paper will explore the experience of reading an Austen novel, specifically the effects of narrative style, including Austen’s narrator and free indirect discourse, and study the original novels, followed by the listed onscreen adaptations, to explain the ways the camera can but does not always properly translate Austen’s narratives while preserving the experience of the novel; this paper will illustrate the ways that each adaptation succeeds or fails to replicate the Austen experience. It will argue that BBC/A&E’s Pride and Prejudice does not align us as entirely with Elizabeth as the novel because it spends too much time on Mr. Darcy’s perspective. It will show that Miramax’s Emma does not focus on Emma’s individual perspective enough, as it is often shot from a far lens, but properly aligns us with her perspective through voiceovers and the times is does close in on her facial expressions. The paper will discuss the shortcomings of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries in establishing Elizabeth’s reliability and Emma Approved’s success with that same lack of credibility. Overall, this paper will prove that onscreen adaptation can evoke the Austen experience, it just does not always do so. (from Introduction)
Senior honors thesis. Open Access.
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