Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

Goss, Erin

Committee Member

Rivlin , Elizabeth

Committee Member

Morey , Sean

Abstract

Three adaptations of Jane Austen novels were produced between 1995 and 1999. These late 90s films represented a set of romantic comedies created in the style of heritage cinema. In adapting Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Mansfield Park, filmmakers reshaped the older women supporting characters in order to better fit the generic conventions of romantic comedies. Romantic comedies of the 1990s relied on a narrow view of the marriage plot whereby the focus in wholly on the courtship process of a predominately affluent, white, heterosexual couple. By excising the roles of the older women, Mrs. Jennings, Miss Bates, and Mrs. Norris respectively, filmmakers refused to allow for alternate versions of womanhood beyond the traditions of marriage and motherhood.

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