The Object of the Gaze: Eroticizing and Objectifying Mr. Darcy in Langton's Pride and Prejudice (1995) and Wright's Pride & Prejudice (2005)

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David L. Townsend (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: In the first portion of the paper, I examine Simon Langton's BBC "Pride and the Prejudice" (1995) and the manner in which the director depicts Darcy's character. Because of the sparse nature of Darcy descriptions in the source text, Langton expounds on Darcy's character in the BBC adaptation, and it is primarily through eroticizing Darcy's body, casting Colin Firth's character as an object of the female gaze. Despite Darcy's aloof presence in the beginning of the novel (and film), Langton takes Mr. Darcy's character, one readers are not supposed to like, and renders him not only tolerable but an object to be adored. The chief means through which the director crafts a likeable Darcy is by making the viewer a voyeur, granting access periodically to Darcy's interiority. By including additional Darcy scenes, one not featured in Austen's novel, such as the famous pond scene, fencing match, and the bathing scene, viewers are granted access into some of Darcy's most intimate moments. As a result, the viewer, who sees Darcy as an eroticized object, also sees him as a man of longing and desire. With the inclusion of these additional scenes, the viewer is afforded his or her own insights pertaining to Darcy's character. While it is true that Elizabeth still serves as the primary vessel through which we understand Darcy's enigmatic persona, these brief scenes grant the viewer insights and moments where he or she can assess the male hero's character on his or her own.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen, Voyeur, Voyeurism, Eroticizing Characters, BBC, Simon Langton, Objectifying

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