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Lost in Dependence: An Analysis of Focalization in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and P. D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from 1813 has often been adapted - a term normally used for films but which can also include literary works. One current adaptation, a sequel, is P. D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, from 2011, which transposes the novel into the detective fiction genre. When an adaptation changes genre from the original work, which this one does, it is called a transpositional adaptation. It is also a commentary adaptation, since James comments on the original characters’ relationships. The heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, is usually the focalizor, which means that she is normally the character we as readers see other characters through. Elizabeth is by many current critics seen as an independent female character for her time. Moreover, her conversations with other female characters, specifically with her sister Jane, are kept on-stage. The male characters’ conversations are kept off-stage. However, the opposite is true for Death Comes to Pemberley. In this comparative study I will show how the focalization-aspect differs between the source and the adaptation, and the effect of this for our impression of Elizabeth and of the female community in the novel. Since James’ Elizabeth is not the main subject of focalization, she becomes passive. Moreover, it is apparent that the female community is not given the same focus. This results in female characters who are more dependent on the male characters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
focalization, adaptation, transposition, commentary, Elizabeth Bennet, female community
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118033OAI: diva2:819339
Available from: 2015-06-16 Created: 2015-06-10 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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