Variations of Pemberley. Nature, Sexuality and Wealth in Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice"

Bachelorarbeit, 2017
58 Seiten, Note: 1,7


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Adaptation Theory
2.1 Categories of Adaptation
2.2 Interrelation between Narrative and Audio-visual Adaptation
2.3 Film Theory for the Analysis of Audio-visual Adaptations

3 The Representation of ‘Pemberley’ in Pride and Prejudice and Adaptations
3.1 Representation of Nature
3.2 Representation of Sexuality
3.3 Representation of Wealth

4. Conclusion

5. Works Cited

1 Introduction

Novels and audio-visual adaptations of novels are likely to evoke various reactions or feelings from the reader, respectively the viewer. Since a novel and a film are two differential media they both have advantages and disadvantages regarding the possibilities to deliver a story and the utilisation of different methods as they are equipped with different sign systems. A novel for example enables the reader to interpret the written words. In comparison, a film confronts the recipient with another person’s - the filmmaker’s - interpretation. Diverse camera perspectives and cinematic techniques contribute to the conveyance of settings, relationships or feelings. Thus, films limit the room for one’s own interpretations. Though, the setting in which a plot is performed can be shown. This creates the impression of a story’s reality, as well as its characters’. Hence, several distinctions must be considered when analysing either a written form of a story or its adapted cinematic counterpart.

A precise analysis between a novel’s transmission of a story and a film’s depiction can be achieved by including adaptation theory and comparing a novel to its audio-visual interpretations. The most-adapted author of the nineteenth century is Jane Austen (cf. Weber in Rachel 187-188) with her well-known British classic novel Pride and Prejudice as “one of the most adapted of all novels” (Cartmell 3). It was first published in 1813 and has been adapted both closely and loosely into television series, motion picture films, radio plays, theatre performances and other novels (cf. Weber in Rachel 189). The existing adaptations convey the story in various ways, for example setting it in Austen’s time or transferring it to modern times.

Pride and Prejudice begins with the announcement of a young, affluent single man called Charles Bingley who moves to Netherfield Park. Mrs Bennet, the mother of Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, and who lives in a nearby village called Longbourn, hopes for a marriage between the man and one of her five daughters. After several social events, the sisters not only get to know Bingley, who is attracted to Jane, but also to his friend Darcy. He, who also is an affluent bachelor, is introduced as a proud and disagreeable man after acting haughty due to his higher social standing and refusing to dance with Elizabeth at a ball.

Throughout the course of the novel, Elizabeth’s negative opinion of Darcy intensifies not only due to his behaviour, but also because officer Wickham tells her that Darcy denied him an inheritance. Additionally, she believes Darcy to purposely have separated Bingley and her sister Jane. On the contrary, Darcy’s positive feelings of affection for Elizabeth increase and even climax in his proposal, during which he expresses his opinion of her and her family’s social and economic inferiority. Feeling insulted as well as confirmed in her attitude towards Darcy, Elizabeth refuses.

On a journey with her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth visits Darcy’s estate Pemberley in Derbyshire. She is impressed by the grounds and the building. Although Darcy is said to be away from home, they unexpectedly encounter each other, which makes Elizabeth feel uncomfortable. Still, her visit to Pemberley causes a change of mind and attitude towards Darcy which leads to their marriage.

Topics such as sexuality, love, marriage, and wealth are not bound to only one era. They have been valid in Austen’s times and - although the understanding of the concepts has changed over time - they remain pivotal today (cf. Gymnich/ Ruhl in Baumann et al. 26). As the woman’s search for a suitable partner and the general longing for connections with humans is addressed, “Pride and Prejudice demonstrates a unique ability to transcend time” (Silvers/ Olsen in Handa et al. 191). This constitutes a reason for the numerous adaptations of Austen’s classic and the ongoing production of faithful or modernised audio-visual versions, such as When Harry Met Sally (1989), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991), or Pride and Prejudice and the Zombies (2016). “Each of these share a generic formula: a man and a woman disliking or dismissing each other for most of the film and becoming a couple at the end” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 93). As various adaptations exist, this paper focuses on Pride and Prejudice (1995), Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Bridget Jones ’ s Diary (2001).

Besides sexuality and wealth, nature is a central theme in Pride and Prejudice. In her writing, the author does not give a lot of detail on anything particular, except landscape, nature and naturalness. Especially when Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Gardiner, visit Pemberley, the reader gets an extensive description of the estate’s garden and grounds. While reading Austen’s description thereof as well as Elizabeth’s reactions to it, one realises the protagonist as being awed by Darcy’s estate. In her essay Rereading: Pemberley Previsited Allegra Goodman claims: “[Pemberley] is where Austen truly defines the union between Elizabeth and Darcy” (Goodman 145). This paper will elaborate on Goodman’s statement by comparing the variations of Pemberley’s representation in the three adaptations and in the novel.

The first adaptation that will be analysed is also one of the most popular: the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) mini-series Pride and Prejudice from 1995 (cf. Cartmell 8). This audio-visual version of the novel was directed by Simon Langton and written by Andrew Davies. Jennifer Ehle plays Austen’s protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy is enacted by Colin Firth. The series, which is divided into six parts, lasts nearly 330 minutes in total. Obviously, this type of adaptation provides more time to screen the story than a common motion picture does.

Another well-known adaptation of Austen’s novel is the film Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen as the protagonists. Written by Deborah Moggach and directed by Joe Wright, the film was first screened 2005. Not only costumes, settings and camera perspectives differ from the 1995 version, but also the depiction of the story varies: Some scenes in the novel are left out in Wright’s film, therefore other scenes are added or interpreted differently.

An adaptation that presents the comedic love story of Jane Austen’s novel more loosely and rather modern is the 2001 movie Bridget Jones ’ s Diary by director Sharon Maguire. In comparison to the adaptations mentioned before, this version departs from the novel the most. It not only differs due to its setting in London, but also because it is set in the 20th century instead of the original time-frame.

These three adaptations were chosen for this analysis since each relates to another category of adaptation as they are organised by Geoffrey Wagner. According to him, a ‘transposition’ is a faithful adaptation of a novel with only minor parts altered. “They include all or most of the characters in the novels, keep the main incidents of the novels, and use as much of the language as the screenwriter can manage […]. The BBC/ A&E Pride and Prejudice is the prime example of this approach” (Parrill 2002, 9). Still, filmmaker Andrew Davies incorporated invented scenes and left out others. In comparison, a ‘commentary’ is less bound to the original but still captures the core theme and plot. As the analysis will show, this is applicable to the 2005 Pride & Prejudice. Lastly, Wagner introduces the concept of an ‘analogy’: A significant abandonment of the source which creates a new story and is not directly recognisable as an adaptation (cf. Wagner in McFarlane 11). The adaptation Bridget Jones ’ s Diary represents this third category. Further categorisations by Dudley Andrews and Michael Klein with Gillian Parker suggest a similar system with corresponding definitions.

As each considered adaptation approached the novel differently, the representations of Pemberley vary. In the novel, a detailed description of the nature and beauty Elizabeth perceives at her arrival at the estate is given. Inside the building, she longs to look outside, whereat the focus is laid on Pemberley’s garden. Walking through it, Elizabeth suddenly meets Darcy and is surprised at his politeness.

Already on their way to the estate, the filmmakers of the 1995-series focus on the presentation of landscape. When reaching the estate, the building is framed by a lake, trees and bushes. Hence, the nature described in Austen’s novel is filmed with great detail. The viewer believes Elizabeth to be seized with remorse of not having accepted Darcy’s proposal after now having seen the natural grounds that constitute Pemberley’s beauty. What differs to the novel is the added scene of Darcy leaping into a naturalistic pond before surprisingly meeting Elizabeth at Pemberley.

A remarkable distinction between the novel and the 2005-version is that before their arrival at Pemberley, Elizabeth climbs up some hills to view the landscape. As soon as they approach Pemberley, the nature and the building are shown. Instead of a picture gallery like in the novel, the camera presents Elizabeth touring an art gallery, where she encounters a marble bust of Darcy. In this adaptation Elizabeth also looks outside a window which presents the grounds of Pemberley. Different to the novel and the BBC-series, Elizabeth encounters Darcy in a music room instead of the garden.

In Bridget Jones ’ s Diary, the protagonist drives with her parents to a place that functions as Pemberley. Instead of being tourists, they are invited to Darcy’s parents’ ruby wedding party. Unlike the novel or the other two adaptations, Bridget does not unexpectedly encounter Darcy but directly asks him for a talk. Clearly, this movie depicts a totally different interpretation of Austen’s novel.

As these short summaries of the adapted Pemberley-scenes demonstrate, adaptations can vary either faintly or immensely depending on the category of adaptation. Therefore, this paper will analyse the variations of Pemberley between Pride and Prejudice (1995), Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Bridget Jones ’ s Diary (2001) in comparison to Austen’s original to identify the changing focuses in the screenings. The analysis will show that the BBC version emphasises nature in its presentation of Pemberley, whereas the 2005 motion picture concentrates on sexuality as the stimulator for Elizabeth’s changing attitude towards Darcy. The most modernised version focuses on wealth. However, the three themes - nature, sexuality, and wealth - are not exclusively bound to one of the adaptations. This paper will exhibit how they are incorporated in the Pemberley-scene of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as well as in its adaptations and will moreover present their effects on the transformation of Elizabeth’s feelings.

2 Adaptation Theory

Due to different forms of storytelling, the original source can always be changed into a plenitude of other forms. Mostly, narratives are the basis and get adapted into plays, audio dramas or films, to name a few. As this paper concentrates on three cinematic counterparts of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, theoretical approaches will be considered with a focus on adaptation and film in general. These approaches regard categories of adaptation, differences between a narrative and an adaptation, and film theory, as the latter one is important to know the effects of varying camera perspectives, shots or sounds when analysing an adaptation.

2.1 Categories of Adaptation

As already mentioned in the introduction, adaptations can be categorised due to their fidelity and precision in relation to the source text. Generally, “[t]he form [of the original] changes with adaptation [but its] content persists” (Hutcheon 10). One organisation of adaptation-forms is offered by Geoffrey Wagner. He suggests the categories ‘transposition’, ‘commentary’ and ‘analogy’, which he decliningly distinguishes regarding their degree of deviation from the original. The first category, ‘transposition’, renders the original most closely and faithfully “with a minimum of apparent interference” (McFarlane 11). By contrast, the form of a ‘commentary’ uses the initial story and changes it slightly. This variance appears “when there has been a different intention on the part of the filmmaker, rather than infidelity or outright violation” (ibid.). The most divergent category is the third one, ‘analogy’. “Wagner propounded [this form] as the best model for adaptation, not only on grounds of semiotic necessity, but also in the service of aesthetic quality” (Elliott 184). This form of adaptation provides the most artistic freedom for the filmmaker in comparison to the other two categories.

Other theorists suggest similar categories which support Wagner’s segmentation. Instead of ‘analogy’, Dudley Andrew calls Wagner’s third category ‘borrowing’ (cf. McFarlane 11): Just the idea of the original’s plot is borrowed, everything else differs and leads to the construction of - as Wagner calls it - “another work of art” (ibid.). In Concepts in Film Theory Andrew claims that ‘borrowing’ is the most-used form of an adaptation. “Here the artist employs, more or less extensively, the material, idea, or form of an earlier, generally successful text” (98). The interpretation of this appropriation is the first step of the “double process”, the second one encompasses the formation of a new construction thereof (cf. Hutcheon 20). Adaptations based on ‘borrowing’, respectively an ‘analogy’, are not successful because of their fidelity to the original source but rather due to their ‘fertility’ (cf. Andrew 99). “[With] the will to adapt, recycle and appropriate [adaptation] is an area of cross-fertilisation” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 13). This emphasises Wagner’s claim that with this category filmmakers can alter and especially modernise stories.

The category that Wagner calls ‘commentary’ is called ‘intersection’ by Andrew. He describes this form of adaptation as opposed to ‘borrowing’: “Here the uniqueness of the original text is preserved to such an extent that it is intentionally left unassimilated in adaptation” (Andrew 99). This category focuses on the variations between the adaptation and the original (cf. Andrew 100). However, topics can appear redirected in this form of adaptation for example if the filmmaker wishes to highlight a different purpose.

Andrew substitutes Wagner’s ‘transposition’ to a category called ‘fidelity of transformation’. “Here it is assumed that the task of adaptation is the reproduction in cinema of something essential about an original text. Here we have a clear-cut case of film trying to measure up to a literary work” (Andrew 100). This category assumes that the interpretation of a story is rendered as it is but in another form of art. Summarised Andrew explains: “The skeleton of the original can, more or less thoroughly, become the skeleton of a film” (100). Consequently, this form is identical to Wagner’s ‘transposition’, as they both suggest a close adaptation. This comparison reveals that Dudley’s system of adaptation is similar to Wagner’s categorisation without any disagreements.

Aside from that, Michael Klein and Gillian Parker also organise adaptations in a similar manner. They describe Wagner’s first category as “’fidelity to the main thrust of the narrative’”, whereas a ‘commentary’ is explained as “the approach which ‘retains the core of the structure of the narrative while significantly reinterpreting or, in some cases, deconstructing the source text’” (McFarlane 11). Dudley’s ‘borrowing’ and Wagner’s ‘analogy’ “[regard] ‘the source merely as raw material, as simply the occasion for an original work’” (ibid.). Thus, all three suggestions for categorisation- systems concord and correspond by respectively offering three forms of adaptations with sense-identical explanations, providing each with a creative, a partially revised and a faithful category. This analysis will make use of Wagner’s terms.

As there are many debates about an adaptation’s fidelity to its original, the category ‘analogy’ helps filmmakers to avoid the discussion about it. Fidelity relates to how much variation between the original and its adaptation exists, whether scenes are added or left out, what is present and what is absent. “One of the central beliefs of film adaptation theory is that audiences are more demanding of fidelity when dealing with classics such as the work of Dickens or Austen” (Hutcheon 29). This alludes to the existing diversity of adaptations of their novels. Fidelity and infidelity are described based on similarities and differences between the source and the adapted counterpart. “For Wagner and others, analogy brings an ameliorating diplomacy to the fidelity wars while maintaining separate representational spheres”, as it only considers the idea of a narrative and does not try to reproduce it faithfully (Elliott 184). Still, “analogies must be ‘worthy of the original’ or at least take ‘hints from their sources’ [and additionally navigate] between the success of an adaptation as a work of art and its success as a translation of the novel” (Elliott 185). Thus, although an analogy deviates mostly from its original in comparison to other categories, it is still interconnected to its narrative source.

Consequently, adaptations can be organised in three categories. Several theorists labelled these diversely, however, they more or less all mean the same. This paper will focus on Wagner’s categories ‘transposition’, ‘commentary’ and ‘analogy’.

2.2 Interrelation between Narrative and Audio-visual Adaptation

Not only a narrative can be the basis for an adaptation, but also an already adapted audio-visual version of a novel can be re-adapted. Being acquainted with both, a viewer most likely will realise the differences or variations between the two audio- visual adaptations. The assumption is “that all adaptations have more than a single source and [one] consider[s] how an understanding of intertextuality […] opens up the study of literature on screen to allow further contextual readings” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 7). Instead of covering topics that have been of decisive importance a decade ago in an earlier text, the latter adaptation usually picks up themes that are important to the current target group.

An interrelation between the original and its adaptations always exists as long as the adaptation is identified as such. “If we know that prior text, we always feel its presence shadowing the one we are experiencing directly” (Hutcheon 6).

Consequently, as soon as an adaptation is considered as an adaptation, the recipient incorporates his understanding and interpretation of the original work. (cf. Hutcheon 111). Since there is always a comparison included, Gérard Genette calls an adapted text “a text in the ‘second degree’” (Hutcheon 6). Thus, on the one hand there is “repetition [but] without replication” (Hutcheon 7), on the other hand “[adaptations] allow for a more open narrative process in which it is possible to see variations in how particular incidents or characters are handled and how the familiar is updated” (Geraghty 15). Besides, as a novel and a film share the narrative, this obviously is the part which is transferred to the adaptations (cf. McFarlane 12). “The adapted text […] is not something to be reproduced, but rather something to be interpreted and recreated, often in a new medium” (Hutcheon 84). Most importantly, “[c]onditions within the film industry and the prevailing cultural and social climate at the time of the film’s making […] are two major determinants in shaping any film, adaptation or not” (McFarlane 21). By updating the original, filmmakers address the contemporary audience with modern themes and topics. “[Dudley] Andrews also talks about the need for adaptation to take a ‘sociological turn’ which directs focus on to the possibilities of repurposing for a new audience in a different time or cultural context” (Cartmell 17). Otherwise, a story would always resemble the original and people would not want to watch the adaptation. Hence, an original can always be changed and adapted to a contemporary status while still conveying the initial story.

In comparison to novels, films do not focus on the description of things but on their presentation. In doing so, “narrative films do not usually allow [the viewer] time to dwell on plenteous details” (Chatman 126). As Christian Metz believes, “’[f]ilm tells us continuous stories; it ‘says’ things that could be conveyed also in the language of words; yet it says them differently’” (McFarlane 12). This highlights the essential requirement for varying forms of storytelling, especially for adaptations (ibid.). “Constantly creating their own mental images of the world of a novel and its people, [readers of a story] are interested in comparing their images with those created by the film-maker” (McFarlane 7), as “the telling mode (a novel) immerses us through imagination in a fictional world [whereas] the showing mode (plays and films) immerses us through the perception of the aural and the visual” (Hutcheon 22). Obviously, these images do not always correspond (cf. McFarlane 7).

With the help of different camera perspectives or the use of background music, landscapes and buildings or relationships described in a novel can be presented in its adaptations. Hence, “[it] is not cinematic description but merely description by literary assertion transferred to film” (Chatman 128). Consequently, “film does not describe at all but […] it depicts, in the original etymological sense of the word: renders in pictorial form” (ibid.). However, the source and its adaptation cannot be understood as only influenced one-way: Literary theorist Julia Kristeva “propos[es] instead a synergetic, synchronic view of the mutual inf(l)ection between ‘source’ and adaptation(s)” (Aragay/ López in Aragay 201). Moreover, she demands the decentralisation of fidelity when considering adaptations (ibid.). This can be compared to Roland Barthes’ essay “The Death of the Author”, which focuses on the relationship between authors and their writings. He claims that an author’s biography or his writings’ intentions should not be considered while reading one of his or her works: the author should be eliminated and therefore a new approach to literature ought to be developed (cf. 3-9). “Film critic, theorist and co-founder of Cahiers du cin é ma, André Bazin, equates the absence of an authorial presence in cinema with earlier literary conditions […] in which the ‘author’ was of little, or no consequence” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 29), which supports the adequate comparison between Kristeva’s proposition and Barthes’ idea. “In essence, theoretically, the valorization of the author and the imposition of genre cannot coexist” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 95). Therefore, it is not necessarily an adaptation’s aim to screen a story faithfully to its original source and its author’s intentions.

A narrative and its adaptation interrelate in so far as the adaptations is an interpretation of the source. However, they base themselves on different forms of presentation. Although the narrative functions as the source, the two media still influence each other. Yet, adapting a story faithfully is not necessarily an adapter’s attempt, as he can also ignore the author’s intentions. Thus, adaptations allow filmmakers to update and modernise a story for a contemporary audience.

2.3 Film Theory for the Analysis of Audio-visual Adaptations

To be able to relate to a filmmaker’s transformation of a scene described in a novel, it is necessary to include film theory into an adaptation’s analysis. Therefore, this subchapter includes and explains terms referring to film theory, as they are needed for the analysis of a scene. Additionally, they facilitate the comparison of a narrative and its audio-visual adaptation.

Some distinctions between a narrative and an audio-visual presentation of a story must be considered, as the narrative usually is the basis for the latter one.

’Story’ is simply the basic succession of events, the raw material which confronts the artist. Plot represents the distinctive way on which the ‘story’ is made strange, creatively deformed and defamiliarized. Novel and film can share the same story, the same ‘raw materials’, but are distinguished by means of different plot strategies which alter sequence, highlight different emphases, which - in a word - defamiliarize the story (McFarlane 23).

Regarding the media’s way of conveying time sequences, films are more limited than novels: films cannot present actions in the past the way novels can. In a novel, the author uses words to define the past’s storyline. A filmmaker either shifts actions to show them in the correct time-lapse, deletes scenes or includes throwbacks he obviously marks as such, because “[t]o show a story […] involves a direct aural and usually visual performance experienced in real time” (Hutcheon 13). Compared to filmmakers, authors have more freedom and flexibility through the narrator’s voice. It allows for descriptions from all sides without a permanent point of view as “[h]e doesn’t have to account for his physical position at all” (Chatman 132 f.) and he possesses the “great power to leap through time and space and sometimes to venture inside the minds of characters” (Hutcheon 13). In a film, the viewpoint must be defined “because the camera always needs to be placed somewhere” (ibid.). What might be considered as a film’s advantage is its spatiality. This gives a film a tangible occurrence which is denied to novels. However, film generally has more options to communicate: “The novel has a single material of expression, the written word, whereas the film has at least five tracks: moving photographic image, phonetic sound, music, noises, and written materials” (Cartmell/ Whelehan 25). Consequently, film can exploit a considerable potential and high capability.

Novels make use of a figurative language in order to convey emotions between two figures or to present a character’s reaction to an event, whereas in films, this is rather communicated through the interactions of characters. The filmmaker is able to express and emphasise these with the help of varying camera perspectives and different shots. “In many cases, because adaptations are to a different medium, they are re- mediations, that is, specifically translations in the form of intersemiotic transpositions from one sign system (for example, words) to another (for example, images)” (Hutcheon 16). Hence, the two media rely on deviating systems of intermediation.

Moreover, different camera perspectives enable the viewer to either see what the protagonist can see or cannot see as well as to imagine oneself in the protagonist’s position. “[T]he employment of the so-called ‘avatar point of view’ (Goggin 2007)” empowers the viewer of a movie to understand and realise the actor’s thoughts or feelings (Aragay/ López in Aragay 212). The camera captures actions from over a character’s shoulder but in the foreground of a shot. Thereby the viewer gains the character’s position and adopts his perspective which incorporates the character and therefore enhances his own view. However, “[m]ost films use the camera as a kind of moving third-person narrator to represent the point of view of a variety of characters at different moments” (Hutcheon 54). In a novel, thoughts and feelings are either reliably perceived through a first-person narrator or simply interpreted by the reader.

With the usage of varying camera perspectives, filmmakers do not only want to alternate the viewpoint in order to prevent monotony, but also to emphasise different aspects. “The most noticeable element is the position of the camera in relation to the frame’s content, which can range from an extreme close-up […] to an extreme long shot” (ibid.). Generally, camera shots can be divided into seven types. An ‘extreme close-up’ could focus on a fluttering eyelid as it presents “part of a face” and “[emphasises] a character’s response to an event” (ibid.). Instead, a ‘close-up’ is used when showing an immediate change in a character’s physiognomy, because it films the “face” as such (ibid.). The ‘medium close-up’ zooms out further and includes the presentation of “head and shoulders” (ibid.). “[M]ost of a [character’s] body” is shown when filming the person in a ‘medium shot’, whereas a ‘medium long shot’ captures “the whole body” (ibid.). As soon as “two or three people’s whole bodies” can be perceived, the camera is in a ‘long shot’ position (ibid.). The most zoomed-out shot is called ‘extreme long shot’ which captures “landscapes” (ibid.). With this camera setting the filmmaker cannot only present the property of a landscape but also a character’s solitude or alternatively his freedom. “[T]he kind of shot […] is in fact always dictated by the dramatic importance of what is being filmed, not by any naturalistic timing or pacing of the actual action” (Hutcheon 64). Consequently, a variation of shots permits the filmmaker to facilitate a character’s sentiments, reactions or body language as well as interrelations or happenings in total landscapes.

Moreover, camera movements are significant when analysing a film, as several motions have disparate impacts on the viewer’s comprehension of a scene. Therefore, “[it] must [be] consider[ed] what the movement intends to convey in the context of the scene” (Lacey 28). To present a character walking, a ‘handheld’ perspective of the camera is used, as they “offer greater flexibility of movement as they can go wherever a camera can be carried” (Lacey 29). The movement which allows filming “up to 360 degrees in length” is called ‘pan’ (ibid.), whereas a ‘dolly’ focuses on the movement of passing to “give a sense of depth to a scene” (Lacey 30). With the difference that “cameras move on tracks, allowing a very smooth movement in straight lines” (ibid.), ‘tracking’ is similar to a ‘dolly’. A type of movement that films vertically is called ‘crane’ (ibid.). A frequently used camera movement is the ‘zoom’: “They […] allow a rapid change in framing from a close-up to a long shot without the distraction of having the camera hurtle through space” (Lacey 31). With this movement, the viewer’s perspective can either zoom into a scene, for example on to something specific, or zoom out of a scene. The latter one first focuses on a detail and next presents for example the whole setting in a broader frame.

Besides camera shots, perspectives and movements, mise en scène is another important term when discussing adaptation and film theory. It includes staging and enactment: “mise en sc è ne analysis focuses on what can be seen in the picture” (Lacey 5). In general, mise en scène consists of production design including costumes, colour, lighting, actors’ performance, diegetic sound and framing (cf. Lacey 6). Costumes for example “necessarily take on significance in speaking about the character” (Lacey 8). Colour itself is used in various ways: “[It] is obviously present in the setting, props and costumes [and] will be greatly affected by the type of lighting used” (Lacey 9). Accordingly, mise en scène is about the story’s spatial arrangement in the picture.

Further contributions to the persuasive depiction of a film are achieved with the use of sound. “There are, broadly, two types of sound: diegetic and non-diegetic” (Lacey 16). The first one comprises of ‘dialogue’ as in voices of characters, ‘sound effects’ and ‘ambient (background) sound’ (ibid.). Diegetic sound is any actual noise or tone given as originated from the film’s world. Oppositely, non-diegetic sound emanates from outside the film and its source is therefore never visible. “The most potent non-diegetic sound is music [which] can be used in a variety of ways” (Lacey 19), for example “music offers aural ‘equivalents’ for characters’ emotions and, in turn, provokes affective responses in the audience” (Hutcheon 23). Functioning as a commentary sound, a voice-over is also non-diegetic. This “’literary’ device” is the only way to “reveal [a character’s] experiences or thoughts” in a film (Hutcheon 58).

Moreover, “[s]ound is also used as a ‘bridge’ between scenes, so a change of locale may be heralded by the sounds from the new location before the actual edit (Lacey 18). With sound, the audience’s attention for something is attracted, important scenes are highlighted and both characters’ as well as viewers’ feelings are aroused: “Soundtracks in movies […] enhance and direct audience response to characters and action […] to underscore and to create emotional reactions.” (Hutcheon 41). When there are noises resembling traffic, the viewer believes the filmed action to take place in a busy city, whereas cheeping birds or crowing cocks normally symbolise a peaceful setting or signify the beginning of a new day. This background noise is called “[a] mbient sound [and is] usually used to signify location” (Lacey 19). Certainly, this type of sound presumes the viewer’s knowledge of its symbolisation.

Consequently, although a narrative or story can be the basis for an audio-visual adaptation, films and novels have different ways of expressions. Their distinct sign systems have both advantages and disadvantages. The explained terms will be used in the following analysis, as camera perspectives, shots and movements as well as sound have different significations and affect the viewer in various ways.

3 The Representation of ‘Pemberley’ in Pride and Prejudice and Adaptations

Each adaptation chosen for this analysis of Pemberley’s variations relates to one of the categories constituted by Geoffrey Wagner. BBC’s Pride and Prejudice can be classified as a transposition, as it most faithfully reproduces Austen’s novel. As a commentary, the 2005 motion picture Pride & Prejudice includes more added scenes but still captures the initial plot. Lastly, Bridget Jones ’ s Diary is clearly an analogy as it presents a new story while still hinting at the original. “As the recent and unexpected success of Bridget Jones ’ s Diary [suggests], the traditional view that a woman is not complete without a man has not lost its potency” (Voiret in Pucci 234). Moreover, adaptations openly establish a connection to its source (cf. Hutcheon 3), like Bridget Jones ’ s Diary does both in the movie as well as in the same-titled novel: the movie is an adaptation of an adaptation, based on the same-titled novel which underlies Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and has several parallels to the motion picture starring Keira Knightley.


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Variations of Pemberley. Nature, Sexuality and Wealth in Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice"
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
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Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary
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Sophie Schott (Autor), 2017, Variations of Pemberley. Nature, Sexuality and Wealth in Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice", München, GRIN Verlag,


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