Essay about Jane Austen 's Emma, By Diarmuid Lawrence

Essay about Jane Austen 's Emma, By Diarmuid Lawrence

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Upon watching Jane Austen’s Emma, directed by Diarmuid Lawrence, one sees that within this adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma the grand plot remains intact and true to the Austen’s novel, but perhaps because of time restraints the movies seems to cut through scenes quite quickly. However, upon further analyzing the way in which the novel itself transitioned through passages, it seems the biggest difference between the adaptation and the novel itself is the absence of the omniscient narrator used in the novel, who allows the reader glimpses into the minds of characters (the community), explains the background and intertwined lives/relationships of minor and major characters, and is themselves a complex entity inlaid with a higher moral understanding (in tune with its time and most likely Jane Austen herself) –which is used to judge, analyze, and comment on characters in a way that is likeable. Additionally, this narrator has often been observed as a utilizing free indirect discourse because she (the narrator has a decidedly famine quality as a result of its perpetration of gossip often associated with women) often and quite deftly transitions from in and out of characters’ consciousness. The narrator within the novel acts as a sort of amniotic fluid encompassing the plot, setting, and characters within the novel. So, with the elimination of the narrator within the film, the viewer is left as the acting narrator (interpreter), yet much of the internal and social understandings are unimpressed upon the viewer. Instead, within the film, the viewer is simply presented with the next scene, and therefore, it seems scenes within the film are not only rushed, they seem to run shallow – as in they do not offer enough information for the...


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... and are instead led to believe that Emma, although still cruel and immoral on her part within both film and novel, is uninhibitedly just as or even more intrusive and self-righteous than Mrs. Elton.
To make up for the absence of the omniscient narrator who utilizes free indirect discourse, the film adaptation features scenes in which Emma has daydreams or fantasies in place of her inner thoughts, which would have been provided by Emma’s narrator. Although the fantasies appropriately capture Emma’s inner thoughts and even reveal her subconscious like when she imagines Mr. Knightly marrying Jane Fairfax and she yells “but what about little Henry”, the film’s audience, much like the novel’s reader, is aware that Emma is more than worried about little Henry’s inheritance. Also, much in the way that gossip in the novel acts like a female triviality, so do the fantasies.

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