Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Patriarchy in Jane Austens Sense and Sensibility Essay -- Jane Austen
Patriarchy in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Despite the fact that Jane Austen has become what Julian North describes as a Ã¢â¬Å"conservative icon in popular cultureÃ¢â¬ signified by her depictions of Ã¢â¬Å"traditional class and gender hierarchies, sexual propriety and Christian values,Ã¢â¬ the novel _Sense and Sensibility_ provides, if not a feminist perspective, a feminist discourse lacking in Emma ThompsonÃ¢â¬â¢s film version (North 38). In this essay, I attempt to argue briefly that the novel, which initially seems to uphold cultural norms of sexuality and does little to question womenÃ¢â¬â¢s subaltern position, can be read to undermine the patriarchy and especially male-controlled courtship rituals. Next I seek to demonstrate how the filmÃ¢â¬â¢s adaptation by Emma Thompson undermines its own feminist intentions to become another late 20th-century romantic-comedy prescribing a happy marriage to an attractive and wealthy man as a cure-all for the single womanÃ¢â¬â¢s woes (Giddings 11). Ironically the novel _Sense and Sensibility_, which many critics consider embodying the paradigm of conservative Georgian literature, appears staunchly, if graciously, countercultural in comparison to its 20th-century film adaptation. Two features of the novel can clearly be identified as providing a feminist perspective: the discourse between sense and sensibility which presents contrasting but complementary strands of female temperament and the sisterly bond that provides the Dashwood women with a self-sustaining, if only temporary, method of resistance to an ineluctably encroaching patriarchy. Often linked to post-revolutionary ideological tumult, the triumph of sense over sensibility in the novel has spurred critics to identify it both as a reactionary vi... ... Novel: The Theory and Practice of Literary Dramatization_. New York: St. MartinÃ¢â¬â¢s Press, 1990. Kaplan, Deborah. Ã¢â¬Å"Mass Marketing Jane Austen: Men, Women, and Courtship in Two Film Adaptations.Ã¢â¬ _Jane Austen in Hollywood_, ed. Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield. Lexington: U of Ky. P, 2001. North, Julian. Ã¢â¬Å"Conservative Austen, Radical Austen: Sense and Sensibility from Text to Screen.Ã¢â¬ _Adaptations: from Text to Screen, Screen to Text_, ed. Deborah Cardwell and Imelda Whelehan. London: Routledge, 1999. _Sense and Senibility_. Dir. Ang Lee. Perf. Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslett. 1995. Whelehan, Imelda. Ã¢â¬Å"Adaptations: The Contemporary Dilemmas.Ã¢â¬ _Adaptations: from Text to Screen, Screen to Text_, ed. Deborah Cardwell and Imelda Whelehan. London: Routledge, 1999.