Fiction and film essay

Essay by kittycatxxUniversity, Bachelor'sB, April 2003

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" A good filmic adaption of a novel is true to the novel's form and content". Critically examine this statement in the light of the filmic adaptions of novels you have read for this course.

In this essay I will argue that a good filmic adaption must be true to a novel's form and content. I will use as my argument the novels Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by Choderlos De Laclos; and the films Jane Eyre, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and Dangerous Liaisons, directed by Stephen Frears. For a good filmic adaption to occur, the film must represent the distinction of and capture the sensations that are produced by a novel. It must allow for its meaning and portrayal to be of the same critical and expedient standard of the novel. This leads me to my thesis: A good filmic adaptation must depict the general and popular themes of the novel, and thus comply the visual imagery of the screen with the essence and imagery more strongly purports by the author of the novel.

I will draw upon two elements of both novels: Concept, with the examples of feminism and passion; and form, with the examples of time, spaces and point of view.

The protagonist and leading characters of the novels portray feminism, in both novels. In Jane Eyre we see a woman whose morals and dignity surpassed the pressure of society of the imposed duty of marriage for women. Marriage again becomes a strong theme in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as the 'satanic heroine', Marquise de Merteuil, used marriage as a weapon to learn how to empower men: "The first night (with husband)...offered me only a further opportunity for experience" p183. Jane's individualism and strength, combined with the Marquise's manipulation and...