The French Lieutenant's Woman as Victorian Realistic Novel

1796 Words8 Pages
The French Lieutenant's Woman as Victorian Realistic Novel Although The French Lieutenant's Woman was written and cinematized in the 20th century and is based on a modern film production of a piece of 19th century fiction, the stories and plots themselves have contextual elements of a Victorian Realistic Novel. Despite the inability to accurately and directly compare it with that of true Victorian literature, many of the same elements can be found and parallel one another. Some of the elements of present day contemporary novels still bear a resemblance to their Victorian predecessors. The French Lieutenant's Woman can be considered a Realistic novel because its subjects are of people living in society and their relationships; more specifically, love, courtship, money, marriage, infidelity, and social problems of the time (Agatucci, 2001). This can be contrasted to heroic, fantastic idealized or sensationalized plots of a Romance (Agatucci, 2001). In this case, realistic category fits for both past and present versions of the plot . In addition, the plot itself runs a course determined by cause and effect logic and determinism, as opposed being influenced by the divine or supernatural and be predetermined (Agatucci, 2001). The characters and conflicts can be hazy as to who is the "hero" and "villain", their qualities are a mix of both good and bad, strong and weak, and they are not idealized like that of a classical hero (Agatucci, 2001). For example, we wish for the main characters in The French Lieutenant's Woman to find love and happiness with each other, but their affairs are elicit and they are betraying others. Yet the characters do not possess the extreme elements of the Byronic hero, which is mostly a ... ... middle of paper ... ...irs happening at the same time (Agatucci, 2001). The lack of continuity allows for reflection and comparison not only of life then and now, how we allow ourselves to be wisked off into a world of invention and illusion. When we are willing participants, the other dramatic devices such as setting, character and plot development, and a realistic theme will then have a stronger influence on our imagination. Despite of our awareness that the stories are fiction, our need to be entertained suspends our disbelief; this one of the few characteristics we have very much in common with those living in the Victorian era. Works Cited Longman, (2000). The Longman Anthology of British Literature, vol. B. Damrosch, D. (ed.). NY, LA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Agatucci, C. (2001). ENG 103, Survey of British Literature. Central Oregon Community College.
Open Document