The Bildungsroman and the Big Screen Essay

The Bildungsroman and the Big Screen Essay

Length: 2414 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Abstract — The female bildungsroman, also known as the bildungsromane, is known as a sub-genre of novel where the principle focus of the novel is the education of the protagonist. Literary critic M.H. Abrams defines the bildungsroman as, "the development of the protagonist's mind and character, as [s]he passes from childhood through varied experiences…into maturity and the recognition of [her] identity and role in the world". The character of Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's celebrated novel Pride and Prejudice is one such bildungsroman heroine. The reader is given insight into her psychological development as she matures over the course of the novel. She begins the novel as a clever, but somewhat immature character. While she initially revels in her powers of discernment, she later learns that she has allowed prejudice and her own pride to blind herself to reality. Her education and maturity are the principal foci of the novel and the principle foci of film adaptations of the novel, as well. In order to illustrate this continuing emphasis on development, this paper discusses relevant passages from the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The paper also analyzes how three modern film adaptations deal with the maturation of Elizabeth Bennet-- focusing on the ways they recognize the power of Austen’s coming-of-age narrative and its importance to the plot, independent of the courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth. The three modern adaptations analyzed within are as follows: Pride & Prejudice (2005) directed by Joe Wright, Bride & Prejudice (2004) directed by Gurinder Chadha, and Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) directed by Sharon Maguire.

Elizabeth Bennet overcomes many obstacles on her journey to adulthood. The most profound obsta...


... middle of paper ...


..."The Absent-Minded Heroine: Or, Elizabeth Bennet Has a Thought." Eighteenth-Century Studies 39.3 (2006): 337-50. Project Muse. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Labovitz, Esther Kleinbord. The Myth of the Heroine: the Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed. New York: Lang, 1988. Print.
Leitch, Thomas M. Film Adaptation and Its Discontents: From Gone with the Wind to The Passion of the Christ. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2009. Print.
Leitch, Thomas M. "Twelve Fallacies in Contemporary Adaptation Theory." Project MUSE. Johns Hopkins UP, Spring 2003. Web. 02 Feb. 2011.
Pride & Prejudice. Dir. Joe Wright. Perf. Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone. Studio Canal, 2005. DVD.
Zacharek, Stephanie. "Pride & Prejudice." Rev. of Pride & Prejudice (2005). Salon. Salon Media Group, 11 Nov. 2005. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. .

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Bildungsroman and the Big Screen: The Coming-of-Age of Elizabeth Bennet

- The female bildungsroman, also known as the bildungsromane, is known as a sub-genre of novel where the novel's subject is, "the development of the protagonist's mind and character, as [s]he passes from childhood through varied experiences…into maturity and the recognition of [her] identity and role in the world" (Abrams 112-113). The character of Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's celebrated novel Pride and Prejudice is one such bildungsromane heroine. The reader is given insight into the psychological development as she matures over the course of the novel....   [tags: Literary Characters]

Term Papers
2600 words (7.4 pages)

The Bildungsroman Genre Essay

- The Bildungsroman Genre INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. 1- BILDUNGSROMAN NOVELS......................................................................................... 2- TWO BILDUNGSROMAN NOVELS............................................................................. 3.1- Great Expectations..................................................................................................... 3.2- Emma..............................................................................................................................   [tags: Literature Bildungsroman Essays]

Term Papers
4243 words (12.1 pages)

Song of Solomon: A Bildungsroman of Milkman Essay

- It can be said that Song of Solomon is bildungsroman which is defined by The Encyclopedia Britannica as “a class of novel that deals with the [coming-of-age or] formative years of an individual”. Furthermore, in a bildungsroman, a main protagonist usually undergoes some transformation after seeking truth or philosophical enlightenment. In Morrison’s novel, the plot follows the main protagonist Milkman as he matures within his community while developing relationships with others and discovering his individual identity....   [tags: Literature]

Term Papers
1080 words (3.1 pages)

The English Bildungsroman Essay

- The English Bildungsroman       The novel has a strong tradition in English literature. In Great Britain, it can trace its roots back to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe in 1719 (Kroll 23). Since then, the British novel has grown in popularity. It was especially popular in Victorian England. The type of novel that was particularly popular in Victorian England was the novel of youth. Many authors of the time were producing works focused on the journey from childhood to adulthood: Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre, George Eliot wrote The Mill on the Floss, and Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield and Great Expectations....   [tags: Literature Essays Literary Criticism]

Term Papers
1672 words (4.8 pages)

The Bildungsroman and Pip's Great Expectations Essay

-      On the surface, Great Expectations appears to be simply the story of Pip from his early childhood to his early adulthood, and a recollection of the events and people that Pip encounters throughout his life. In other words, it is a well written story of a young man's life growing up in England in the early nineteenth century. At first glance, it may appear this way, an interesting narrative of youth, love, success and failure, all of which are the makings of an entertaining novel. However, Great Expectations is much more....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Term Papers
3865 words (11 pages)

Sons and Lovers as Bildungsroman Essay

- Sons and Lovers as Bildungsroman      As a twentieth century novelist, essayist, and poet, David Herbert Lawrence brought the subjects of sex, psychology, and religion to the forefront of literature. One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century, Sons and Lovers, which Lawrence wrote in 1913, produces a sense of Bildungsroman1, where the novelist re-creates his own personal experiences through the protagonist in (Niven 115). Lawrence uses Paul Morel, the protagonist in Sons and Lovers, for this form of fiction....   [tags: Lawrence Sons and Lovers Essays]

Term Papers
930 words (2.7 pages)

Yann Martel’s Life of Pi as Bildungsroman Essay

- Growing up, I always viewed Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as intriguing events. My goal was to attend one and obtain the full experience. I was fascinated by the importance of this “coming of age” ritual in the Jewish communities. As I got older, more aspects of growing up were intertwined with my everyday life. This is can be seen in Bildungsroman, a book dedicated to the main character maturing. The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel is the story of Piscine Patel coming of age while being stranded in the Pacific Ocean for 227 days....   [tags: Life of Pi Essays]

Term Papers
588 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Replacing A Fractured Laptop Screen

- There a tremendous secret, or scheme some may say, that computer companies do not want to tell their customers when there is a need to replace a particular part for your personal laptop. The secret that major computer companies do not want to induce to the population is that they outrageously overcharge people to replace a fractured screen on a laptop that could be easily done by a non-professional. For instance, major companies like Dell and HP would approximately charge their customers between 100-300 dollars to simply replace a fracture laptop screen....   [tags: Laptop, Personal computer, Liquid crystal display]

Term Papers
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Screen Casting Apps

- Summary The Educreations Interactive Whiteboard (Educreations, 2013), Show Me (Learnbat, 2013) and Explain Everything ™ apps are examples of screen casting apps suitable for a wide range of learners. These applications are both a web-based app and a device based app. Simply defined, screen casting is capturing all of the action on a screen while you are narrating. In addition to the previously mentioned apps, screencasts can be made with many computer programs such as Jing, screenr, Goview and even Smart Notebook....   [tags: Apps, Instructions, Possible Uses]

Term Papers
957 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage as Bildungsroman

- Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage as Bildungsroman           In the Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, the main character Henry Fleming joins the army as a young fledging and ultimately matures to a courageous soldier ready for battle. The Red Badge of Courage is considered a Bildungsroman since the reader traces Henry’s development morally, psychologically, and intellectually. Henry progresses from a feared youth who in the course of a couple of days, in the line of fire, has crossed the threshold to manhood....   [tags: The Red Badge of Courage]

Term Papers
1241 words (3.5 pages)