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Time Dissolving and Freedom in The French Lieutenant´s Woman: From Novel to Film Adaptation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the adaptation of The French Lieutenant’s Woman; proclaiming that it is based on the same core of meaning as the novel. This core, or interiority, of the art work, is the freedom which Sarah Woodruff presents. The interiority is immanent within the novel as well as the film. The freedom that Sarah presents creates gaps in time and is mainly freedom from time. From an exterior perspective though, these art works look different. The exteriority is visualized and described by being denominated as different narrative levels. In the film Mike falls in love with Sarah as an escape from his own time, one that is characterized by more lenient moral views than those prevalent in the Victorian Age. This present-day character is not, of course, in the novel but is invented by Harold Pinter as part of a metaphor for Fowles’ metafictional stance. In the novel, freedom is partly represented by an extradiegetic narrative level and suggested in various comments made by the apparent author of the work: John Fowles. This essay highlights the contrasts between the fictive world (on a hypodiegetic level), and the real world (on a diegetic level). By doing this, this essay suggests a motive for Pinter’s “narrative innovation” as a “brilliant metaphor” for Fowles´ novel. With these contrasts we find that the restraints of a seemingly open society (the 1980s in which Pinter was writing the screenplay) are able to contain an inner, rather implicit, restraint for the individual of the 1980s. The longing for freedom is triggered as soon as man is deprived of freedom, irrespective of how and when. Sarah is an escape from Victorian Age for Charles, at the same time as she is an escape from the 1980s for Mike. On the whole, Sarah is an escape from the linearity of all time. Freedom is immanent with both of the artworks, yet they are completely different, seen from outside.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 15 p.
Keyword [en]
Time, Freedom, Immanence, Immanent, Adaptation, Narrative levels, Film adaptation, John Fowles, Harold Pinter, The French Lieutenant´s Woman, Love, Interiority, Exteriority
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37049OAI: diva2:292395
2010-01-14, Department of English (SU), Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-02-10 Created: 2010-02-06 Last updated: 2010-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Proestos, Jenny Karolina
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