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Love and Authority vs. Existential Freedom

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Chap 13 the Author and his Characters' Freedom. The Endings Characters in a Changing World ... Can an author really give freedom to his/her characters, or ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Love and Authority vs. Existential Freedom


1
Love and Author-ity vs. Existential Freedom
  • In The French Lieutenant's Woman

2
Outline
  • Starting Questions
  • General Introduction FLW in relation to the
    other texts discussed
  • The Film
  • plot (1) social conventions Sarahs attempts
    to win freedom
  • meta-filmic techniques
  • plot (2) freedom vs. involvement
  • the endings --Romantic love vs. emptiness
  • The Novel
  • Chap 13 the Author and his Characters Freedom
  • The Endings Characters in a Changing World
  • The Two Endings Romantic love vs. Existential
    Freedom

3
Starting Questions
  • What does the title mean? How is Sarah
    presented? Is she in any way similar to the
    other 19th-century female characters we have
    discussed so far (Ada, Edith, Antoinette, etc.)?
  • What do you think about the different endings (of
    the film, and the novel)? Which do you like
    better? What types of love are presented in the
    text(s)?

4
General Introduction The Novel (1969) vs. Film
(1981)
  • Novelist John Fowles
  • Intrusive and Self-Reflexive narrator
  • discusses Victorian society (like realist
    narrator)
  • his views of Sarah, the characters and writing
    (e.g. chap 13)
  • goes into the novel and take the same train
    Charles takes
  • Brushed off like a peck of dust by Charles
  • Screenplay Harold Pinter
  • Director Karel Reisz
  • double plotline
  • Sarah / Anna
  • Charles Smithson/ Mike
  • Meta-Filmic Techniques (later) film shooting and
    acting rehearsal

5
Texts re. Conventions and Social Discourses
  • Women in the 19th-century Patriarchal Society
    confinement or radical self-assertion
  • Angelina in "The Trial of Love
  • Edith in "Snowed Up
  • Antoinette in WWS fragmentation and fatalism
  • Ada in The Piano muteness, piano and sex
  • Sarah in FLW -- self-assumed role of whore
  • Women in the modern age (and for Modernist
    writers) confinement and symbolization
  • Isabel as a mother and wife in "The Blind Man
    Eveline as a daughter in Eveline
  • Daisy in The Great Gatsby the lady in Prufrock
  • In postwar and contemporary America (capitalist
    society) confinement, self-construction and/or
    compromise
  • Jane in Faces of Madness Girl Interrupted
  • the mother and daughter in The American Beauty

6
Texts re. Conventions and Social Discourses (2)
  • Men in the 19th-century Patriarchal Society
    class/race distinction, antagonism and gender
    privilege
  • Ippolito in "The Trial of Love
  • The three men in "Snowed Up
  • New and old Mr. Mason in WWS
  • Stewart vs. George in The Piano
  • Charless growth in FLW from a gentleman to an
    exile
  • Men in the modern age (and for Modernist
    writers) wandering or self-accomplishment
  • Frank the sailor in Eveline
  • Gatsby in The Great Gatsby Prufrock in
    Prufrock failed because of social corruption
  • Maurice "The Blind Man successful in private
    encounter
  • In postwar and contemporary America (capitalist
    society) self-realization or living in fiction
    and/or compromise?
  • Norman in Psycho William in Faces of Madness
    schizophrenic or wish fulfillment
  • Lester and Ricky in The American Beauty beauty
    redefined as?
  • Coleman in The Human Stain --boundaries crossed?

7
Conventions and Social Discourses in FLW (film)
  • Victorian Society social propriety vs. sexual
    release
  • -- morality vs. science Mrs. Poulteney (3130)
  • -- those beyond bounds in Lyme Regis
  • Boys and girls going out to Undercliff.
  • Sarah Poor TragedyGrogan Dairyman But she
    be no lady. She be the French lieutenant's whore.

8
Conventions and Social Discourses in FLW (film)
  • Victorian Society social propriety hypocrisy
    social inequality (1832)
  • -- those beyond bounds in London
  • In 1865, it is estimated there were 80,000
    prostitutes in the county of London.
  • One brothel in every 60 houses in London.
  • Working class women

9
Conventions and Social Discourses in FLW (film)
--2
  • -- Marriage and Class Charles marrying into
    trade
  • e.g. dowry Ernestina Freeman ("exactly the
    right face for the age--small-chinned, oval,
    delicate as a violet" novel)
  • signs of mobility Sam and Mary
  • Signs of change Charles (13945) and (later)
    the Pre-Raphaelite for Sarah

10
Conventions and Social Discourses in FLW (film)
--3
  • sciences psychology, Darwinism and paleontology
    (the study of fossil)
  • Dr. Grogan photos, telescope and his theory of
    Sarah (obscure melancholy, ) seduction 5400)

11
Sarahs attempts to win freedom
  • Daughter of a the daughter of a tenant-farmer,
    but well-educated
  • Her only choice marriage or the job as a
    governess (e.g. Vanity Fair)
  • Be an outcast as the self-assumed French
    Lieutenants woman
  • obscure melancholia? Or living with a painful
    awareness of her limitations?

12
Sarahs attempts to win freedom (2)
  • realize her position as an outcast with Charles
    (chap 7 4320 vs. 12400)
  • (film) passes as a widow serves as a tutor and
    does her own work (painting)
  • Why doesnt she contact Charles? Doesnt she
    love him?

13
Sarahs attempts to win freedom (3) vs. Love
  • (156) There was madness in me... at that time.
    A bitterness, an envy. I forced myself on you,
    knowing that you had other obligations. It was
    unworthy! I saw after you had gone that I had to
    destroy what had begun between us!
  • Love can happen only after the two are both
    self-accomplishing (developing their own
    spaces).

14
Meta-Filmic Techniques in FLW (film)
  • Transitions from the past to the present
  • Made thru --
  • Film shooing (opening scene) Sarah in transition
  • Rehearsal showing
  • contrast between the present and the past
  • the characters being influenced by the past
  • (e.g. ???? ???)

15
Freedom in the Present
  • after the proposal scene
  • Mrs. Poulteneys prohibition of Ss going to the
    Cobb or Undercliff
  • Charles suggests that S go to London

16
The Actors Involvement
  • Anna
  • Careless involvement, calls Mike David once
  • Disengages herself once David comes to London
  • Looks sad, envies Mikes wife, looks at the
    mirror uncertainly.
  • Mike
  • Gets to love Anna more
  • Unsure about the love

17
The Endings
  • Mike calls out to Sarah when A leaves
  • The scene of Romantic love emptied
  • Final (unreal?) scene of release and freedom

18
The Novel (chap 13) Author-ity vs. Characters
Freedom
  • Who is Sarah? Out of what shadows does she come?
  • I do not know.
  • Exposes narrative conventions
  • 19th-century author god (p. 80)
  • The author as a human being with different
    purposes (80, 81)
  • Re-Define Authorship
  • The world as an organismbeyond planning
  • author-ity re-defined the freedom that allows
    other freedoms to exist

19
The Novel Author-ity and his Characters Freedom
  • Can an author really give freedom to his/her
    characters, or his/her readers?
  • Paradoxical Freedoms
  • Control/Disrespect vs. freedom limited by ones
    respect for other freedoms
  • Writing I report -- spontaneity in writing,
    inner logic of the text
  • Freedom given to the characters to allow readers
    some freedom to choose.
  • Is a character either real or imaginary?
  • fiction is woven into all

20
The Endings in FLW
  • Three or four endings
  • On the train back to Lyme Regis complete
    openness
  • Marrying Ernestina Victorian ending

21
The Endings a Changing World
  • Charles in transition
  • from American self
  • to England, (pays attention to terms of address,
    the house, the gentlemen, and then becomes
    suspicious 346)
  • and then back to America when facing Sarah (her
    New Woman look)
  • Tries to find the old Sarah 347
  • Two selves 349-50
  • Made aware of his formality and artificiality
    (351)

22
The Endings a Changing World
  • Sarah in the Pre-Raphaelite Painters house,
    serving as a model and amanuensis (secretary)
    (346-47, 348-49)
  • Historical context
  • Pre-Raphaelite Painters (the fleshly school of
    art) Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • John Swinburne labeled by John Morley as "the
    libidinous laureate of a pack of satyrs

Photograph of Fanny Cornforth, 1863
Fazio's Mistress, 1863.D.G.Rossetti (source)
23
Sarahs New Self vs. Charless Two Selves
  • Sarah
  • Destroys a fiction wrongly done
  • Refuses to follows Charles plotlines (1)
    redeeming the pure part (2) not loving him ever
  • There is another Sarah herself (352-53)
  • Charles Conventional Self
  • the natural law women should marry (354)
  • Feel like being denied a fortune
  • Charles understanding of Sarah (353 355)

24
The Two Endings (1) Romantic love
  • In the battle of the two wills, Sarah submits
    herself
  • by presenting the baby Lalage
  • while insisting that their argument has to happen
    and that she has to remain a mystery.
  • images of romance rock of ages tears shed,
    hands joining, a thousand violins cloy very
    rapidly without percussion.

25
The Two Endings (2) Existential Freedom
  • The author surrogate (as an impresario or
    author-god) leaves the scene
  • Charles interpretation
  • She smiles to ask for a compromise.
  • Sarah is manipulative she is unwilling to give,
    while Charles is willing to give but not to
    compromise.
  • Leaves Sarah as well as her mystery with an atom
    of faith in himself.

26
Existential Freedom
  • "The river of life, of mysterious laws and
    mysterious choices, flows past a deserted
    embankment and along that other deserted
    embankment Charles now begins to pace, a man
    behind the invisible gun-carriage on which rests
    his own corpse. He walks towards an imminent,
    self-given death? I think not for he has at last
    found an atom of faith in himself, a true
    uniqueness, on which to build has already begun,
    though he would still bitterly deny it, though
    there are tears in his eyes to support his
    denial, to realize that life... is not a symbol,
    is not one riddle and one failure to guess it, is
    not to inhabit one face alone or to be given up
    after one losing throw of the dice but is to be,
    however, inadequately, emptily, hopelessly into
    the citys iron heart, endured. And out again,
    upon the unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea."
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