PDA

View Full Version : Jane Austen & Feminism- Would Really Appreciate Opinions!



cb3mod
03-27-2009, 10:28 AM
Hey, I'm writing a report on Jane Austen & Feminism for my lovely Journalism course in Notting Hill (gorgeous!) & I really need some opinions for primary research. Any contributions would be SO SO appreciated. Let's see how clever you cats are.

Now that thatís cleared up, letís carry on:

The questions are just to get you to think, donít answer them one by one or anything. Try to give me a couple sound bytes for the report. Ha, ha. To place this report in context, it is for my Contextual studies class.

Statement: The portrayal of women in ďChick LitĒ inspired by the works of Jane Austen actually indicates a back-pedalling on the forward-thinking Feminist ideals espoused in Austenís novels. (I must work on reshaping that sentence, whatís with all the forwards-backwards stuff?)

Questions/considerations:

List recent media inspired by the works of Jane Austen that you are familiar with. eg. Twilight, Bridget Joneís Diary (Or, of course, the true classics such as The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (right...), Sex and Sensibility (yikes!), or Jane Austen in Boca/Scarsdale (take your pick)) Feel free to discuss film adaptations as well (Clueless, That Mormon One)

What would a Feminist think of these pieces of media? Analyze as a Feminist. (Now that I think about it, wasnít Elizabeth in the Mormon movie writing a book about Feminist robots or something? Clearly ahead of her time or else I really donít get that film.)

How are women portrayed in these pieces of media?

What would a Feminist think of the works of Jane Austen? Analyze as a Feminist.

How are women portrayed in the works of Jane Austen?

And, inevitably, how are women portrayed in the works of Jane Austen as compared to the works she inspired?

Consider: The time at which Austen was writing, societal views on marriage then and today, the novels in context.

You probably get the idea so whatever you can think of; have fun with it.

This is assignment isnít due for about two weeks but I would like to finish it this week to be honest because itís the last week of term and I would love to enjoy a luxurious vacation. If you canít be bothered, just give me permission and I will take the liberty of furnishing you with a veritable potpourri of suitable quotations with your name attached at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds. You guys are the beeís knees!

kiki1982
03-27-2009, 01:44 PM
This is a start. I can provide you my name via private message if you want to quote me.

Well, I’ll take Lost in Austen. It was a program made by ITV that featured a modern-day woman Amanda Price (a fan of Pride and Prejudice ) who gets locked in the house of the Bennets in the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, while Elizabeth gets locked in Amanda’s house in modern day Hammersmith and in the end turns out to have become a macrobiotic nanny. Amanda falls in love with Darcy and in the end stays with him and Elizabeth stays on the other side.

I think the series asks questions as to feminism, the things women have gained and what we, as women look for in life. In Austen’s time (Elizabeth’s time) we looked for a possibly handsome man, rich, or at least of means who could keep us and his children, and preferably a man who was constant in his affection/esteem. A man one could be sure of that he would always esteem and respect, that is to say who would not kick us out of his house, even if he was tired of us and had mistresses. The concepts love and marriage, to me, were totally different in those days.

At the beginning of Lost in Austen Amanda finds herself in a difficult position: she has a boyfriend, and he asks to marry him, but she is not sure, as he was drunk when he proposed, but even more so because she just doesn’t see the relationship become better, deeper or anything like that. It is at that moment that she finds Elizabeth toying with the light in the bathroom. Consequently she passes through the door and gets locked in on the other side, a few days before the first ball, where Lizzy has to meet Darcy is supposed to take place. The story continues and everything goes wrong, but Lizzy does not show herself and the door doesn’t open. Amanda is forced to continue inside the house of the Bennets in the early 19th century with all difficult situations that arise.

At a certain time she gets kicked out of the Bennets’ house by Mrs Bennet who blames her for the misfortune of Jane who marries Collins by mistake instead of Charlotte because Amanda turned up at the wrong moment. It is after that, when Amanda under the wings of Wickham changes herself more to the standards of Austen’s time, that Darcy invites her to Pemberley. She catches him staring over a pond and it is there that he pledges his love for her stating that it is her with her strange ways or not he loves. She asks him to perform the famous Darcy-in-the-pond-scene, witnesses ‘a strange postmodern moment’ and at the sound of voices he walks away because he cannot ignore them. It is then that Amanda professes to suddenly understand what she is doing in the story: she is the ‘understudy’ who has to perform the part of Elizabeth while the latter is missing. And I think it is just that, that was meant by the writers of the series: to look at the differences between women now and then, beyond the surface of rights and appearances. Astonishingly, both Amanda and Elizabeth will find their own ways in the societies they are not accustomed to. The same leap Darcy took into the pond in Pemberley in 1995, he took in Lost in Austen into modern-day Hammersmith. In 1995 Darcy leapt into the pond purity out of love for Elizabeth, to become a better man more truthful to himself. In Lost in Austen, he leapt into Hammersmith and the 21st century ‘hell’ also out of love, but for Amanda. Both Darcys need to give up their restraint to gain the women they love.

As to the ‘understudy’, both Amanda and Elizabeth are self-confident women, although Amanda might seem more so on the surface. Amanda, being born in the 21st century has voting right, has the right to work and keep her money, has the right to contraception, has the spiritual right to look for a husband who loves her, has the right to say no to sex, has the right over her own property, etc etc. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is a self-confident, smart girl, but is born in a society that denies her everything: no voting right (although the poor also had none), no right to her property, no right to work and earn her own money, no right to say no to sex, no right to contraception because there was none, etc etc. The only aim in her life was to marry well and get settled. That in a society which had a dramatically reduced supply of men due to the Napoleonic wars. Getting married, and certainly getting married well, was a serious business. So we might think that Amanda has it easier as an independent woman, but not so it seems, because Amanda dreams of Elizabeth’s world.

When she gets locked in, she gradually starts to become truly attracted to Darcy (possibly to her own amazement). She accepts to marry him, but in the end he breaks off the engagement because she is not a virgin. Being restrained by his society-conventions he cannot marry a woman who has lived together with another man. It is only when she disappears back to 21st century Hammersmith that he decides to follow her to ‘hell’, as he calls it himself, being suddenly among the cars and noise of modern London. It is also in that episode that Amanda, together with Darcy of course, goes to look for Elizabeth who changed herself into a macrobiotic very slim girl who works for a female (!) doctor and her husband as a nanny. She is obsessed by the ‘appliances’ and cannot have noise, but has continually the TV on. She recognises Darcy as her husband when he is named and in a weird anachronism the two stare into a laptop looking at a website about Pride and Prejudice. After that Amada wants Darcy and Elizabeth to go back through the door in her bathroom. At the moment they are before the door. Amanda’s boyfriend Michael states that if Amanda steps through the door, he will finish the relationship. She faces a hard choice but finds that duty is now more important than her boyfriend and decides to go with Darcy and Elizabeth.

Darcy professes an amazing urge to sleep and procures a bedroom in the Bennets’ house. Amanda during the night can’t control herself and kisses him, however he does not wake up. In the morning he tells Elizabeth that he has had a bad dream and wants to go home. When finally Amanda wants to return to her bathroom through the door, a little rolled up paper, which turns out to be a bus ticket from Hammersmith, falls from the door and reads in Darcy’s handwriting: ‘not one breath will I forget’. This seals Amanda’s decision and she returns to Darcy at Pemberley Instead of to Hammersmith. Elizabeth from her side decides to go back to Hammersmith. So both women swap places. Apparently, beyond appearances, women from then and now are not that different. We might have more rights, and consequently also more responsibilities, but we all look for the same: we look for a good relationship. We all look for a secure husband, we don’t want one who spends his money on gambling or drinking. We don’t want one who continually cheats on us. We want one that respects us and our children. We want one that provides. We want one who is loving. We want one who stays with us for ever.

Like in 1995 and in the original, Darcy went through a transformation for love. Only in Lost in Austen he went through it because of the contact with the modern world. He became a man less restrained by the rules of society and more himself through contact with something radically different. To hell with her non-virginity, I love her. The same as to hell with her family and low connections, I love her. His sleep in the house of the Bennets has maybe more of a Sleeping Beauty-theme than of a mere sleep. He felt compelled to change and thus felt an amazing urge to sleep. His princess Amanda then came to wake him up with her kiss and it is her, not Elizabeth, who he will marry despite the attempts of Amanda to put the story right. Indeed, Amanda was the ‘understudy’, the universal woman in Elizabeth that we all recognise, the timeless woman we all are (despite our surface), which looks for the Darcy in every man.

The series also features Miss Bingley as lesbian, Georgiana Darcy as the one seduced Wickham and Jane and Mrs Bennet finally rebelling against Lady Catherine, who is desperate to get Amanda out of the way because she is a bad influence. As it seems the progressive change to more female independence or self-confidence is inevitable, even if not desired. She herself might be a good example of that.

So for me the series asks questions as to what women actualy reached with feminism? Being women we still seem to look for the same type of guy as 200 years ago was seen as ok, only the money has gone off the list for some. We only gained a shell but did not abandon our deepest nature whoch is why Austen still appeals to us. Other than that it could of course evoke that Austen was a feminist and that would be the case if Austen were not born in a time when that did not exist and foremost if the only woman who actually takes charge in determining her own life and the one of others (Lady Catherine de Bergh) were not a ghastly woman who is not taken positively. She stands both for the old values and the strong woman where Lizzy stands for the new and the strong woman, but in a more gentle way. The question is what will have the most effect.

cb3mod
04-01-2009, 05:43 AM
This is a start. I can provide you my name via private message if you want to quote me.

Well, Iíll take Lost in Austen. It was a program made by ITV that featured a modern-day woman Amanda Price (a fan of Pride and Prejudice ) who gets locked in the house of the Bennets in the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, while Elizabeth gets locked in Amandaís house in modern day Hammersmith and in the end turns out to have become a macrobiotic nanny. Amanda falls in love with Darcy and in the end stays with him and Elizabeth stays on the other side.

I think the series asks questions as to feminism, the things women have gained and what we, as women look for in life. In Austenís time (Elizabethís time) we looked for a possibly handsome man, rich, or at least of means who could keep us and his children, and preferably a man who was constant in his affection/esteem. A man one could be sure of that he would always esteem and respect, that is to say who would not kick us out of his house, even if he was tired of us and had mistresses. The concepts love and marriage, to me, were totally different in those days.

At the beginning of Lost in Austen Amanda finds herself in a difficult position: she has a boyfriend, and he asks to marry him, but she is not sure, as he was drunk when he proposed, but even more so because she just doesnít see the relationship become better, deeper or anything like that. It is at that moment that she finds Elizabeth toying with the light in the bathroom. Consequently she passes through the door and gets locked in on the other side, a few days before the first ball, where Lizzy has to meet Darcy is supposed to take place. The story continues and everything goes wrong, but Lizzy does not show herself and the door doesnít open. Amanda is forced to continue inside the house of the Bennets in the early 19th century with all difficult situations that arise.

At a certain time she gets kicked out of the Bennetsí house by Mrs Bennet who blames her for the misfortune of Jane who marries Collins by mistake instead of Charlotte because Amanda turned up at the wrong moment. It is after that, when Amanda under the wings of Wickham changes herself more to the standards of Austenís time, that Darcy invites her to Pemberley. She catches him staring over a pond and it is there that he pledges his love for her stating that it is her with her strange ways or not he loves. She asks him to perform the famous Darcy-in-the-pond-scene, witnesses Ďa strange postmodern momentí and at the sound of voices he walks away because he cannot ignore them. It is then that Amanda professes to suddenly understand what she is doing in the story: she is the Ďunderstudyí who has to perform the part of Elizabeth while the latter is missing. And I think it is just that, that was meant by the writers of the series: to look at the differences between women now and then, beyond the surface of rights and appearances. Astonishingly, both Amanda and Elizabeth will find their own ways in the societies they are not accustomed to. The same leap Darcy took into the pond in Pemberley in 1995, he took in Lost in Austen into modern-day Hammersmith. In 1995 Darcy leapt into the pond purity out of love for Elizabeth, to become a better man more truthful to himself. In Lost in Austen, he leapt into Hammersmith and the 21st century Ďhellí also out of love, but for Amanda. Both Darcys need to give up their restraint to gain the women they love.

As to the Ďunderstudyí, both Amanda and Elizabeth are self-confident women, although Amanda might seem more so on the surface. Amanda, being born in the 21st century has voting right, has the right to work and keep her money, has the right to contraception, has the spiritual right to look for a husband who loves her, has the right to say no to sex, has the right over her own property, etc etc. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is a self-confident, smart girl, but is born in a society that denies her everything: no voting right (although the poor also had none), no right to her property, no right to work and earn her own money, no right to say no to sex, no right to contraception because there was none, etc etc. The only aim in her life was to marry well and get settled. That in a society which had a dramatically reduced supply of men due to the Napoleonic wars. Getting married, and certainly getting married well, was a serious business. So we might think that Amanda has it easier as an independent woman, but not so it seems, because Amanda dreams of Elizabethís world.

When she gets locked in, she gradually starts to become truly attracted to Darcy (possibly to her own amazement). She accepts to marry him, but in the end he breaks off the engagement because she is not a virgin. Being restrained by his society-conventions he cannot marry a woman who has lived together with another man. It is only when she disappears back to 21st century Hammersmith that he decides to follow her to Ďhellí, as he calls it himself, being suddenly among the cars and noise of modern London. It is also in that episode that Amanda, together with Darcy of course, goes to look for Elizabeth who changed herself into a macrobiotic very slim girl who works for a female (!) doctor and her husband as a nanny. She is obsessed by the Ďappliancesí and cannot have noise, but has continually the TV on. She recognises Darcy as her husband when he is named and in a weird anachronism the two stare into a laptop looking at a website about Pride and Prejudice. After that Amada wants Darcy and Elizabeth to go back through the door in her bathroom. At the moment they are before the door. Amandaís boyfriend Michael states that if Amanda steps through the door, he will finish the relationship. She faces a hard choice but finds that duty is now more important than her boyfriend and decides to go with Darcy and Elizabeth.

Darcy professes an amazing urge to sleep and procures a bedroom in the Bennetsí house. Amanda during the night canít control herself and kisses him, however he does not wake up. In the morning he tells Elizabeth that he has had a bad dream and wants to go home. When finally Amanda wants to return to her bathroom through the door, a little rolled up paper, which turns out to be a bus ticket from Hammersmith, falls from the door and reads in Darcyís handwriting: Ďnot one breath will I forgetí. This seals Amandaís decision and she returns to Darcy at Pemberley Instead of to Hammersmith. Elizabeth from her side decides to go back to Hammersmith. So both women swap places. Apparently, beyond appearances, women from then and now are not that different. We might have more rights, and consequently also more responsibilities, but we all look for the same: we look for a good relationship. We all look for a secure husband, we donít want one who spends his money on gambling or drinking. We donít want one who continually cheats on us. We want one that respects us and our children. We want one that provides. We want one who is loving. We want one who stays with us for ever.

Like in 1995 and in the original, Darcy went through a transformation for love. Only in Lost in Austen he went through it because of the contact with the modern world. He became a man less restrained by the rules of society and more himself through contact with something radically different. To hell with her non-virginity, I love her. The same as to hell with her family and low connections, I love her. His sleep in the house of the Bennets has maybe more of a Sleeping Beauty-theme than of a mere sleep. He felt compelled to change and thus felt an amazing urge to sleep. His princess Amanda then came to wake him up with her kiss and it is her, not Elizabeth, who he will marry despite the attempts of Amanda to put the story right. Indeed, Amanda was the Ďunderstudyí, the universal woman in Elizabeth that we all recognise, the timeless woman we all are (despite our surface), which looks for the Darcy in every man.

The series also features Miss Bingley as lesbian, Georgiana Darcy as the one seduced Wickham and Jane and Mrs Bennet finally rebelling against Lady Catherine, who is desperate to get Amanda out of the way because she is a bad influence. As it seems the progressive change to more female independence or self-confidence is inevitable, even if not desired. She herself might be a good example of that.

So for me the series asks questions as to what women actualy reached with feminism? Being women we still seem to look for the same type of guy as 200 years ago was seen as ok, only the money has gone off the list for some. We only gained a shell but did not abandon our deepest nature whoch is why Austen still appeals to us. Other than that it could of course evoke that Austen was a feminist and that would be the case if Austen were not born in a time when that did not exist and foremost if the only woman who actually takes charge in determining her own life and the one of others (Lady Catherine de Bergh) were not a ghastly woman who is not taken positively. She stands both for the old values and the strong woman where Lizzy stands for the new and the strong woman, but in a more gentle way. The question is what will have the most effect.


Wow. Thanks a lot! Really.

talameovee
02-09-2010, 09:57 PM
Is that the name of the movie or something? I would really like to know the titile of the movie