Pride and Prejudice

The Prejudice of Perspective

The Prejudice of Perspective

For many years, film makers have strived to capture the essence of Jane Austen in their films. While not all have been able to accomplish this task, all have been successful in positing unique readings of the novel. Even the BBC Austen Series, which offers some of the most faithful film renditions of the Austen novels, betrays a particular judgment of the characters and plot. The 1995 BBC rendition of Pride and Prejudice subtly departs from the Austen novel through Colin Firth’s interpretation of his character and through the director’s enhanced representation of Mr. Darcy.

The actors’ ownership of the characters is significant insofar as the audience interprets it. Colin Firth’s characterization of Mr. Darcy yields a first impression markedly different from that proffered by the novel. The narrator of Austen’s book declares Mr. Darcy to be proud and “above being pleased” (Austen, 8) only a few lines after introducing his name. In this manner, the narrator imposes his/her judgment of Mr. Darcy’s character upon the readers. This is one of the key stylistic methods of the novel; as the reader is unable to witness the events first-hand, he/she is forced to trust or adopt the opinions and perspectives of...

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