Gender Roles In Emma And Roman Polanski's Film 'Tess'

Superior Essays
Journeys involve the exploration of the self, as individuals review their growth and development in the light of experiences which challenge and inspire them. The power of a journey, provides insights into the lives of individuals and the understanding of the world around them. This concept can be seen within Jane Austen’s novelEmma’ and Roman Polanski’s film ‘Tess’. Jane Austen and Roman Polanski compel their protagonists through a life of continual process of growth towards mature self-development exploring female gender roles in their respective contexts, hence revealing the codes of women in patriarchal societies.
The journey of an individual from immaturity on our judgements and relationships to mature self-knowledge and character
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Emma Woodhouse, in Jane Austen’s Emma is a victim of her own illusions and creates a world of her own fancy. Irony dominates the novel, contrived by the omniscient narrator, as Emma’s ‘insufferable vanity and unpardonable arrogance proposed to arrange everybody’s destiny’ counteracts her motives causing complications for herself and her relationships. Emma supreme self-confidence foreshadows her tribulations, highlighting her moral blindness and ignorance. The peak of Emma’s journey from immaturity, is seen at the Box Hill Picnic. ‘Emma could not resist’, abandons all social and personal self-control, heartlessly makes fun of Miss Bates personal idiosyncrasies. Austen satirical use of a heroine who has class, wealth and influence but does not establish the true component of ‘ladyhood’ grace, poise and truth forces the 18th century audience to question the perceptions of ladyhood. Emma’s deficiency of …show more content…
Emma Woodhouse, though cultured and energetic, has a journey restricted to leisure, fine arts, social functions and domestic excellence. The modality and cumulative listing in Emma’s dialogue “If I draw less, I shall read more; if I give up music, I shall take up to carpet-work”, highlights the fickle and limited scope of female endeavour in genteel life. Highbury division of class represents the stigma and prejudice of unfortunates such as Miss Bates and Jane Fairfax in which their patriarchal societies limit their desired hopes and journey’s in life. Class, wealth and influence were of great significance, Jane Fairfax who ironically is highly educated, sophisticated, lacks money and property consequently hides her secret engagement with Frank Churchill. According to Jane Fairfax, ‘governess trade’ resembled the slave trade. The use of hyperbole, initiates the perceptions of women. The vulgar Mrs Elton who is comically thought of as a ‘conceited social climber’ begins to think much of her own importance. Her marriage with Mr Elton, is quite acknowledged “caro sposo”, sweet husband in Italian and forms many acquaintances and relationships, “my dear friend Mr Knightley” emphasising her position. Austen creates a range of characters that represents roles which women occupied at that time providing an insight into the Victorian

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