Transcultural Encounter and Identity in Henry James’s Novel The Portrait of a Lady 1881 and Jane Campion’s Movie The Portrait of a Lady 1996.
This modest research paper deals with cultural differences and immigrant encounter as it is propounded in Henry James’s novel The Portrait of a Lady (1881) and within Jane Campion’s movie The Portrait of a Lady 1996. As a theoretical framework, it relies on Homi Bhabha postmodern theory as it is developed in The Location of Culture (2004). Cultural difference is the first theoretical concept which is deployed in order to demonstrate the cultural obstacles James’s American characters encounter in the European context. The foreignness of the languages is the second concept used in order to explain how the foreign language elicits the immigrants (James’s characters) racist fantasies. Benedict Anderson’s theory Imagined Communities (1991) is also referred to since it represents an authentic theoretical background that clarifies my perspective. His concept which is named cultural roots is reliable to explain how James’s American characters meet the so called classical European languages. This dissertation also exposes Campion’s attitudes through her adaptation of The Portrait of a Lady 1996. The latter deals with the revelation of past worlds atrocities via the female character. It also consists of a psychoanalytic examination of the behaviors of the characters as it is interpreted by Freud and as it is reconsidered by Feminists attitudes. The two perspectives are approached under the umbrella of the theoretical framework of Josephine Donovan The Feminist Theory (1992). Leaning on Cultural Feminism and Freudianism, those sections have revealed the traditional conservative kinship system that has kept women under subjugation. It is also a starting point for interpreting and exposing Campion’s Reflecsive Nostalgia. Relying on Donovan’s The New Feminist Moral Vision, this work has critically exposed her moral visions that tend to elicit the elite as well as the ordinary spectator’s mind to sympathize with past worlds in order to construct a harmonious modern world.
- Département d'Anglais