Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Reader 1

Aaron Matz

Reader 2

Michelle Decker

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Grace M. Jasper

Abstract

In this thesis, I maintain that a focus on a narrowly defined sense of ‘fidelity’ is used to discourage and devalue adaptations that work to comment on class, racial, and gender dynamics that the original author did not. An emphasis on strict fidelity can also be a misogynistic response to Austen adaptations’ popularity among young women. While certainly one may have legitimate aesthetic concerns in regards to adaptations of any form—novel, film, YouTube, or otherwise—it is important to scrutinize the claim that such artistic differences are not, in fact, rooted in general disdain for narratives and media embraced by, or seemingly embraced by, women (particularly young women). Just as importantly, the motivations of those claiming to produce feminist narratives must be equally scrutinized, as I have found that these content producers at times use the very real misogyny directed at young women and their interests in order to shield themselves from criticism of their own portrayals of women and feminism. I discuss the discourse around contemporary film and book adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, as well as evaluate two recent adaptations that have made waves in popular culture: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

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