Essay The Victorian Era and The French Lieutenant's Woman

Essay The Victorian Era and The French Lieutenant's Woman

Length: 834 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Victorian Era and The French Lieutenant's Woman

 
   The French Lieutenant's Woman is a 1981 film of historical fiction, contrasting present day relationships, morality and industry with that of the Victorian era in the 1850s.  It is an adaptation of a novel by John Fowles, the script was written by Harold Pinter.

 

The setting is in England, Lyme and London specifically, where Charles, a Darwinian scientist is courting the daughter of a wealthy businessman.  The film depicts Charles as somewhat of the laughingstock with the rich citizens of Lyme who regard his profession as folly.  His future father-in-law offers him a position in his shipping company which is expanding to "Liverpool and Bristol."  The scenery in this portion of the film depicts frantic building going on in the background fitting with the period of the Industrial revolution.

 

The film within a film concept has two actors playing the characters in the film "The French Lieutenant's Woman" but also follows the actors' relationship with each other.  This presents a contrast between the present day (1981) with the Victorian era.  In her research on the Victorian era in the film, the actress Anna states that in 1857 there were over 50,000 prostitutes in London. 

 

Sarah Woodruff, the French Lieutenant's woman, is seen as a morally deficient woman, likened to a prostitute, and goes to work for a rich and "pious" woman.  This woman, Mrs. Palfrey (I think) describes Sarah's actions of walking in the under cliffs and staring out at sea to be "sinful."  She states there is a vast difference between those people from the country and those from London and says there "are gross disorders in the streets." 

 

...


... middle of paper ...


...streets, leisure and brute work, families and orphans"  (96). 

 

This film did an excellent job of contrasting the idle rich in the country and the upper class in London.  There was a snobbery that was emphasized, using the servants versus their masters.  The condemnation of Sarah Woodruff as a "fallen woman" was contrasted by the facts that later came out.  The stark contrasts in England during the Industrial revolution were evident in this film and I felt it was an interesting piece of historical fiction.

 

Works Cited

Bradbury, Malcolm, ed.  The Atlas of Literature.  New York: Stewart, Tabori and Chang,  1998.

 

Damrosch, David, ed.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature.  New York: Longman,  2000.

The French Lieutenant's Woman.  Dir. Karel Reisz.  Perf.  Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep.  United Artists, 1981.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The French Lieutenant's Woman as Victorian Realistic Novel Essay

- 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....   [tags: French Lieutenants Woman Essays]

Better Essays
1796 words (5.1 pages)

Comparing the French Lieutenant's Woman and Jewel in the Crown Essay

- Similarities between French Lieutenant's Woman and Jewel in the Crown       John Fowles's French Lieutenant's Woman and Paul Scott's Jewel in the Crown are two literary works that illustrate continuity in British literature over time.  While French Lieutenant's Woman [is set in]...the Victorian era and Jewel in the Crown [depicts events in]... the twentieth century . . ., the two exhibit similar thematic content.  Both works emphasize the importance of social stature, both portray society's view of what's acceptable in the intimate relationships of women, and both are stories in which two lovers are together regardless of whether or not society approves....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
1005 words (2.9 pages)

Morality in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Novels Essay

- Morality in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Novels An essay on Jane Eyre, The Mill on the Floss, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Possession and The Dress Lodger The Victorian era is one bound to morality. Morality is also defined through the traditional and religious standards that structure the way of life for many Victorians. Morality is defined as the proper principles and standards, in respect to right and wrong, which are to be practiced by all humanity. Ideally, these include obtaining decent careers, being sexually inactive prior marriage, and being faithful when married....   [tags: World Literature]

Better Essays
4250 words (12.1 pages)

The Victorian Era Vs. Women Essay

- Drastic changes in simple life As time as passed, life for women has changed drastically in their social and personal life. As researching about women and their lives in the Victorian era vs. Women today, I was able to get a grasp on how much has changed. From their simple everyday lives of what they wear and their hobbies, to their job duties and family life; so much as changed that show how powerful women were and still are today. Throughout my paper, I decided to focus mainly on the lives of women in the Victorian era and today including; dressing, living, marriage....   [tags: Victorian era, Social class, Marriage, Woman]

Better Essays
1284 words (3.7 pages)

Essay The Mistreatment Of Women During The Victorian Era

- The Mistreatment of Women During the Victorian Era “The day may be approaching when the whole world will recognize woman as the equal of man.” (Susan B. Anthony) The Victorian era was an extremely difficult time for women in Great Britain. They were subject to gross inequalities such as, not being able to; control their own earnings, education, and marriage. As well as having a lack of equality within marriage, women had poor working conditions, and an immense unemployment rate as well. Not only was the fact that women were viewed as second-class citizens and had limited rights compared to men during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries a major problem, but women were also held to a much...   [tags: Victorian era, Marriage, Woman, Wife]

Better Essays
2196 words (6.3 pages)

The Women Of The Victorian Era Essay

- All through the Victorian era, one of the main concerns was the position and the roles that women played in society. Stoker’s novel and as well as the movie, Dracula, of the Victorian times symbolize different types of women like Mina and Lucy , as well as the Weird Sister’s portrayed them as more masculine than feminine. Through these different characters Stoker was able to conquer monstrosity by the seduction of sexuality and influence that the women had over the men. However, it questions the ultimate perspective of the Victorian culture....   [tags: Victorian era, Victorian literature]

Better Essays
1234 words (3.5 pages)

Outline of Marriage in the Victorian Era Essay

- Outline of Marriage in the Victorian Era In the Victorian era, marriage was not as romanticized or fairytale-like as depicted in many novels of the time. On the contrary, love actually played a very minor role in the majority of matrimonies that took place. An engagement was entered into as one would approach a business deal, and there were some generally accepted rules and guidelines to follow. The Rules * It was illegal to marry your deceased wife’s sister. You could marry first cousins, but attitudes changed towards the end of the 19th century, and this became frowned upon....   [tags: Victorian Era]

Better Essays
899 words (2.6 pages)

Women and Divorce in the Victorian Era Essay

- Women and Divorce in the Victorian Era “There's a sanctity in this relation of life," said Mr. Bounderby, "and - and - it must be kept up." --Hard Times, 73 Once married, only one in ten women divorced. --“Life for Women” For Victorians, divorce was not only extremely expensive, it was very hard to do. Women and men stayed in unhappy marriages for numerous reasons. Many stayed away from divorce because of the stigma attached to divorced women. It was also considered a societal taboo. “Prior to 1857 England was the only Protestant country in Europe that did not have provisions for civil divorce....   [tags: Victorian Era]

Better Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

French Lieutenants Woman Essay

- French Lieutenants Woman "French Lieutenants Woman" is a work of historical fiction that clearly represents the Victorian Age in England. The story represents the history and culture of England in the 1860's and contrasts elements of the Victorian Age with the present, with the inner plot representing the past and the outer plot representing the present. The 1981 movie "French Lieutenants Woman" was based on the 1969 novel by John Fowles. The parts of its main characters were played by Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons....   [tags: French Lieutenants Woman Essays]

Free Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Flirting and Courting Rituals of The Victorian Era Essay

- Flirting and Courting Rituals of The Victorian Era In Victorian society courting rituals were put into effect to keep the young ladies pure and the gentlemen confused. Courting usually began at balls and dances where young girls were first introduced into society during their “coming out.” At every gathering of Victorian society the young ladies were chaperoned by their mothers or some other married woman so that nothing improper would happen that could ruin the young lady's reputation in society....   [tags: Victorian Era]

Free Essays
576 words (1.6 pages)