, Research Paper
The Academy Award winning 1940 s adaptation of Jane Austin s Pride and Prejudice, tells the story of the five Bennett girls struggle to find love in the Victorian suburb of London. Robert L. Leonard, the director of the film, uses many different techniques to excentuate the different socio-economic classes of the characters as well as respecting the time period in which the novel was originally written. The different classes in which each of the characters belongs to has an integral part in the plot and the theme of the novel. Therefore, the excentuation of the classes in the film is not only an added bonus to the viewers pleasure, but also a necessity.
The story takes place in the Victorian time period, which can easily be understood by viewing the language as well as the costumes of the characters. The different words and the manner in which those words are used by the characters are only one way to distinguish the different classes in which the characters belong to. The most notable example of this would be the difference in the speech of Mrs. Bennett from the speech of Miss Bingley. Mrs. Bennett speaks much faster and with more emotion. Also, the majority of her dialogue demonstrates the extreme concern that she feels towards the engagements of her daughters. On the other end of the spectrum is Miss Bingley, who speaks slowly and often times coldly about different topics. Also, most of her dialogue is in a demeaning tone and fashion towards the inhabitants of the small town.
In addition to the speech of the characters, the costumes are an accurate representation of those that would have been worn by people of that time period. Also, there is a separation of the classes of characters through the costumes as there is in their speech. The inhabitants of the town wear the more provincial style of dress, such as light-colored dresses with stripes and flowered print. On the other hand, the sophisticated Miss Bingley is dressed in dark clothing, which is often decorated with some sort of sparkling jewels.
These two very important parts of the film, the costume and the language represent the separation of the classes. This is necessary in order to coincide with the theme of the film, which also shares its title, Pride and Prejudice. Despite the fact that most of the plot twits in the novel are quite typical and expected (i.e Mr. Darcy s proposal and the happy ending), it does not take away from the universal theme of the novel, which is that one s pride can lead to the prejudice of great things in life.