Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 1813. Throughout the years, Pride and Prejudice was successful in many countries. Many people consider the novel as one of the best works of fiction and it’s one of the most read books in the world. Many movie adaptations have been made which is proof of the phenomenal story line of the novel. In this paper I will discuss several differences I noticed in the comparison of the 1813 novel with the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Some comparisons I will make include character inconsistency, compressed scenes, scene changes, and introductions of new scenes.
Some differences I noticed when watching the movie were differences in physical appearances of the characters. An example of this would be Mr. Collins. In the book, Jane Austen described Mr. Collins as tall. In the movie however, Mr. Collins was around the same height as the other male characters. I also noticed some differences with the portrayal of Elizabeth’s character in the movie compared to Jane Austen’s version of her in the book. When I watched the movie, I noticed that Elizabeth’s character was more negative, temperamental, and unladylike. However, in the book Elizabeth is portrayed as more optimistic, lively, and light-hearted. There was a scene in the movie where Elizabeth yelled at her mother which is proof of Elizabeth’s pessimistic behavior. In the book Elizabeth never directly yelled at her mother.
I would also like to point out that daughters yelling at their mothers was not realistic to the time the book was written. It was not a common thing for daughters to verbally yell at their parents back then like it is today. Every movie director is forced to cut and shorten certain scenes in movies to make them suitable for the movie market. Joseph Wright is the director of the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and of course, he also had to decide which scenes to cut and compress. The challenge for him was to also make the movie faithful to the novel. Some important scenes from the book were deleted, cut, or shortened. An example of this is the part where Elizabeth visited Pemberley, Rosings Park, and Hunford Parsonage. This part, as well as some other parts in the book, were thoroughly compressed. Another part of the book that was compressed in the movie is the part where Lydia eventually eloped. Some changes introduced by Jane Austen from the original Pride and Prejudice novel were not closely interpreted in the film adaptation.
An example of this is the part where Darcy proposed to Lizzy. Jane Austen made the setting of that scenario inside Mr. Collins’ home. In the movie, the setting for Darcy and Lizzy’s proposal was different because in the movie Darcy and Lizzy were standing outside in the rain. Another scene difference between the book and the movie was the second proposal between Lizzy and Darcy. The moments leading up to the second proposal were different in the scenes shown in the film compared to the parts written in the novel. In the book, Darcy proposed to Lizzy after Lizzy did something for Mrs. Bennet that had Lizzy in a certain place that evening. The scene in the movie showed Lizzy unable to sleep in bed so she went for a walk and stumbled upon Darcy who was also out on a walk. He was awake because he couldn’t stop thinking about a certain scenario that included Lizzy and Catherine De Bourgh. There are some scenes that are found in the film that are not present in the book.
For instance, there’s a scene where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were out at night walking in their pajamas. This is something that was not found in the novel, most likely because in the time period the novel was written it was not very realistic because it wasn’t common during that day and age. Another scene in the film that was not present in the novel was the scene where Lady Catherine visited the Bennet’s home in the middle of the night and the Bennet’s answered the door and greeter her when they were only wearing their pajamas. This probably wasn’t written in the book because this also wasn’t a very common or realistic thing for people to do back in that time period. People back then made sure they were completely dressed before greeting any visitors.
Also, people didn’t just show up unannounced at inappropriate times of the day, especially not in the middle of the night. In conclusion, the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice can have different viewpoints. A lot of people consider this movie adaptation as victorious, keeping in mind that it is based off of the well-known book and there were also many other movie adaptations made in before it. On the other hand, people concentrated on the films imperfections and errors. Some people said that this movie is not good enough to be called a film adaptation.
While there were some issues, there were also credits that the movie earned to for it to be appraised as good enough. People need to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect movie adaptation. Both film, and novel, can have very similar stories, they still have different properties. My personal opinion of the film adaptation is that even though it did have some differences from the book I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I do think that it portrayed the book well enough to be considered a film adaptation of the book.
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