Discuss ONE adaptation that, in the process of its adaptation, ‘travel[s]’ to a different context (these might involve cultural or historical cont...

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As an analogy, Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice is a film in which major parts of a plot – in this case, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – are taken and translated into modern equivalents. There are a number of parallels that can be drawn between the film and the novel, such as arranged marriages or marriages for the benefit of exceeding one’s class, an emphasis on familial ties and a similarity in the use of dance to portray ideas of courtship and socialisation. However, while Austen’s novel deals with notions of inter-class tension, Chadha’s film takes this tension and evolves it to deal with cultural conflict, an issue pertinent within the globalised twenty-first century. Elena Oliete-Aldea explains that Bride and Prejudice is a ‘hybrid transnational film that metaphorically represents the re-emergence of past prejudices in contemporary encounters of Eastern and Western cultures’, and presenting this merging of cultures is arguably a device through which Chadha observes pride and prejudices between the East and West (167). Based on this, I will explore how Chadha adapts Austen’s novel to present and address prides and prejudices, focusing on ideas of music and dance, the romance plot, the characterisation of Darcy and national identity. Dance is a device prevalent within Austen’s novel and Chadha’s film, and is used by both author and director to present a number of thematic issues. Both the novel and the film contain a number of choreographed dances, which, in both cases, seem to serve to portray embedded social rituals in terms of the manners of courting. One such example is the wedding song at the beginning of the film, which Balraj’s sister describes as the moment where ‘the boys meet the girls and the girls meet th... ... middle of paper ... ...ich to convey Austen’s themes in a culturally relevant way. It has been said that ‘Bride and Prejudice can be viewed as a film that integrates two well-suited partners…to both preserve and update the cultural critique of the original’ (Wilson 323). While Austen’s narrative deals with the role of economics, evaluating the effect that wealth and social status can have on marriage and relationships, Chadha’s adaptation reinterprets these themes through ‘new grids and discourses’ in order to discuss prevailing issues in her contemporary society (Stam, Geharty). By commandeering devices used in Austen’s narrative such as characterisation, setting and choreographed dancing, Chadha is able to discuss the prides and prejudices that Austen presents in her novel in a culturally relevant and appealing way that has proved highly successful in the twenty-first century market.

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