The Talented Mr. Ripley And Anthony Minghella Essay

1307 Words Jun 26th, 2015 null Page
Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley and Anthony Minghella’s 1999 screen adaptation of the same name delve into the life of a man with a talent for impersonation, fraud and his desire to obtain a lush lifestyle beyond his means. Sexuality and eroticism play a key role in the film adaptation. The precursor novel does not portray Tom Ripley as an overt homosexual, it displays the character as a sexually ambiguous individual. However, in the film it is evident that Ripley would rather sacrifice admitting his homosexuality in order to lead a luxurious but heterosexual existence.
Highsmith never explicitly portrays Ripley’s sexuality as unambiguous, partially due to oppressive views of the society in which the novel exists. Michel Foucault argues that the incentive behind the prudish philosophy of the modern era was to propel sex “out of hiding” and encourage it to lead a “discursive existence” (33). At the beginning of the novel, there is a playful undertone where Tom fantasises that Dickie “would probably be so fond of him and so used to him that he would take it for granted they would go on living together” (65). The novel does not conspicuously exhibit homosexual acts and whenever there is a homosexual undertone, Tom invariably denies all possibilities. For instance, when he is dressed in Dickie’s clothing and is conversing with himself as Dickie in front the mirror, he acts out Marge’s murder and states that she was “interfering between Tom and me – No, not…

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