Christopher Marlowe’s play, its genre an English tragedy of the sixteenth century, presents the tragic conflict of the Faustus theme in the tradition of medieval morality plays. There are two kind of conflict in the play: one between rival views of nature of evil and the other between the choice of good and the choice of evil. The first is at its sharpest in the contrast in the first acts between Faustus and Mephistopheles; the second, in the play, soliloquies. Faustus’ initial obstinacy makes him persist in a heroic view of evil and renders him incapable of moral reflection. The concepts of good and evil in these plays and their psychological implications reflect a historical background in which the church dominates the ethical and moral concepts of their time. Faustus defies society’s norms and embraces the devil with courageous desperation, fully aware of the inevitable consequences, but incapable of being satisfied with his human limitations. Faustus in his soliloquy says
“If we say that we have no sin
We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
Why then, belike, we must sin,
And consequently die.
Ay, we must die an everlasting death.”
One of the most important and prominent themes in Doctor Faustus is by far the conflict between good and evil in the world and the human soul. Marlowe’s play set the precedent for religious works that were concerned with morals and suffering. In the play, Doctor Faustus is frequently accompanied by two angels, one good and one evil. Both spirits try to advise him on a course of action, with the evil one usually being more influential over his mind. These two angels embody the internal battle that is raging inside of Faustus. On one hand, he has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and supreme power; on the other hand, Faustus realizes that it is folly to relinquish heavenly pleasures for fleeting mortal happiness.
Although society is accustomed to believing that good will always prevails, evil gains the upper hand in Marlowe’s play. Innocent and often devout men are tortured at Faustus’s delight and command. He partakes in many pleasures with devils and is even shown the seven deadly sins in person. Thus, Faustus is depicted as doomed from the very beginning. Although he has moments of contrition, he quickly shoves aside thoughts of God and turns to evil. Marlowe attempted to express to his audience that while prayer and repentance are the paths to heaven, sin and mortal pleasure are very hard temptations to pass over.
Lucifer’s acquisition of Faustus’s soul is especially delightful for him because Faustus was once a good and devout soul. Even during his last moments on earth, Faustus curses himself for willingly burning the scriptures and denouncing God. In Doctor Faustus, Marlowe shows the reader that everything in the mortal world is a double-edged sword. In his never-ending quest for knowledge, Faustus exemplifies how even scholarly life can have evil undertones when studies are used for unholy purposes. Doctor Faustus’s miserable defeat against the forces of evil, within and without, enlightens the reader to beware a surfeit of anything.
Absurdism: doctrine that we live in an irrational universe
The term “comedy of menace” comes from the subtitle of one of David Campton’s plays, The Lunatic View: A Comedy of Menace. A reviewer picked up on it and used it when writing about certain playwrights. Comedy
A ‘comedy’ is a humorous play with elements of surprise, incongruity (things that don’t fit logically together), conflict, & repetitiveness that often leads the audience to expect one thing will happen, then delivers the opposite to amuse and make the audience laugh.
Comedy and tragedy are interwoven in The Caretaker. There are elements of humour at the beginning of the play, but as it progresses these turn towards tragedy.
Both Davies and Mick have comic elements to their characters, with Aston as the exception.
The comedy from Davies is unintentional. Through his characterisation of Davies Pinter introduces a visual comedic element, for example when Davies is chased around the room with no trousers on at the start of Act II, or when he tries on the shoes or smoking jacket. There is also a comedic element in Davies style of speaking. He is always very earnest and thinks a lot of himself. He doesn’t always follow what people are saying which leads to comic responses.
As the comedy disappears from The Caretaker, the mood of the play changes and the characters concentrate on their own survival.
Mick’s humour depends largely on the actor cast and their interpretation of the character. Mick baits Davies; it’s a performance which can sometimes be funny for example the monologues. Violence and Menace/The Outsider
Menace (a threat or the act of threatening)
A ‘menace’ is something which threatens to cause harm, evil or injury; which doesn’t seem like a logical idea to fit with comedy.
Violence and menace are mostly below the surface of the play. Mick moves swiftly and silently and is an unpredictable character.
Davies threatens Mick’s relationship with his brother, and responds to his fear of authority by threatening violence
Aston is more of a victim of violence, his description of his treatment in hospital shows that the world beyond the room is now a threatening place.
But, in certain plays (like those by Campton & Harold Pinter, for example), it is quite possible for a playwright to create both humor and menace in the same play and even at the same time in the play (for instance, a character might joke about a bad situation he finds himself in, while he prepares a gun to deal with his situation – that is an example from one of the comedies of menace). The playwright’s objective in mixing comedy & the threat of menace is to produce certain effects (like set up dramatic tension or make the audience think a character is a weasel because they are acting nice or funny, but planning to do something evil) or to convey certain social or political ideas (for ex., don’t trust lawyers or politicians) to the audience.
Comedy of menace is a term used to describe the plays of David Campton, Nigel Dennis, N. F. Simpson, and Harold Pinter by drama critic Irving Wardle, borrowed from the subtitle of Campton’s play The Lunatic View: A Comedy of Menace, in reviewing Pinter’s and Campton’s plays in Encore in 1958. (Campton’s subtitle Comedy of Menace is a jocular play-on-words derived from comedy of manners—menace being manners pronounced with somewhat of a Judeo-English accent.)
After Wardle’s retraction of comedy of menace as he had applied it to Pinter’s writing, Pinter himself also occasionally disavowed it and questioned its relevance to his work (as he also did with his own offhand but apt statement that his plays are about “the weasel under the cocktail cabinet”). For example, in December 1971, in his interview with Pinter about Old Times, Mel Gussow recalled that “After The Homecoming [Pinter] said that [he] ‘couldn’t any longer stay in the room with this bunch of people who opened doors and came in and went out. Quotation:
“ASTON comes in. He closes the door, moves into the room and faces MICK. They look at each other. Both are smiling, faintly.
MICK: (beginning to speak to ASTON). Look … Uh…
He stops, goes to the door and exits. ASTON leaves the door open, crosses behind DAVIES, sees the broken Buddha, and looks at the pieces for a moment. He then goes to his bed, takes off his overcoat, sits, takes the screwdriver and plug and pokes the plug.”
Davies: You can take it from me I’m clean. I keep myself up. That’s why I left my wife. Fortnight after I married her, no, not so much as that, no more than a week, I took the lid off a saucepan, you know what was in it? A pile of her underclothing, unwashed. The pan for vegetables, (Act I)
Davies: They (women) have sais same thing to me. Women? There’s many a time they’ve come up to me and asked me more or less the same question. (Act I)
Aston: They weren’t hallucinations, they… I used to get the feeling I could see things… very clearly… everything… was so clear… everything used… everything used to get very quiet… all this… quiet… and… this clear sight… it was… but maybe I was wrong. (Act II)
Once asked what his plays are about, Pinter lobbed back a phrase “the weasel under the cocktail cabinet”, which he regrets has been taken seriously and applied in popular criticism:
“Once many years ago, I found myself engaged uneasily in a public discussion on theatre. Someone asked me what was my work ‘about’. I replied with no thought at all and merely to frustrate this line of enquiry: ‘the weasel under the cocktail cabinet’. This was a great mistake. Over the years I have seen that remark quoted in a number of learned columns. It has now seemingly acquired a profound significance, and is seen to be a highly relevant and meaningful observation about my own work. But for me the remark meant precisely nothing.” David Wilbanks
“The Weasel Under the Cocktail Cabinet”
“The thing referred to is likely not reducible to a singel statement but will more probably involve a range of possible meanings and interpretations” — Foster (98)
While “the weasel under the cocktail cabinet” was famously used to answer the question “what are your plays about?” (Harold Pinter) I feel the same phrase aptly answers the question “What does this symbolize?” It’s whatever you want. Foster points out that if a symbol means only one thing, it is allegory rather than symbolism. Thus symbols, by their nature, are beholden to the reader’s interpretation. Any meaning you can think of is completely valid, provided it is meaningful. i.e has some sort of reason behind it. As Foster, and Dr. Jerz both frequently say, there is no big dusty book of literary meanings. If you want, and can find reason behind it, Moby Dick, Frankenstein’s monster, excalibur, the red ‘A’, that radio the proffessor made out of coconuts on Giligan’s island and the football that Lucy prevents Charlie Brown from ever kicking all represent the weasel under the cocktail cabinet.
Actually, the scarlet letter obviously represents the ferret under the sofa.
Factors Involved in the investigation of Social Dialect
Social Class And Education:
Leaving Educational system at early age
e.g. ( Them boys throwed somethin)
Spending long time in educational system
e.g. (Talks like a book)
Study of Labov (1972), looking sales people pronunciation differences in New York city at Saks, Macy’s and Klein’s departmental stores.
Use of more /r/ Sound by higher and socio-economic status. (higher)
Fewer /r/ sounds produced by lower socio-economic status. (lowah)
Dialect Survey in a particular region shows that grandparents may use those terms which grand children do not.
e.g icebox, wireless (doesn’t use like to introduce reported speech)
e.g we’re getting ready, and he’s like
Female speaker tend to use Prestigious form than male
e.g I done it—I did
e.g Women discuss personal feelings, experience, seeking connections while Male Non-personal topics and give advice on solutions, more competitive and concerned with power via language
An ethnic group (or ethnicity) is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture (often including a shared religion) and an ideology
Within any society differences in speech may come about because of Ethnic background
e.g African Americans known as BEV, Use frequent absence of copula, Double negative constructions, illogical structure
(He don’t know nothing, I ain’t afraid of no ghosts)
In linguistics, an idiolect is a variety of a language unique to an individual. It is manifested by patterns of vocabulary or idiom selection (the individual’s lexicon), grammar, or pronunciations that are unique to the individual.
The term idiolect is used for the personal dialect of each individual speaker of a language.
Use in specific situations
Religious Register (Ye Shall be blessed by him)
Legal Register (The Plaintiff is ready to take the witness stand)
Technical Vocabulary associated with the special activity or group
“Don’t bother me know I’m juggling eggs” Diglossia:
A major skill like pronunciation and grammar, to different varieties of language co-exist in a speech community (Arabic Language)
Language and Culture:
Linguistic variations are some times discussed as terms of cultural differences
Culture variation means “socially acquired knowledge” or cultural transmission by which languages are acquired
Worlds culture study become clear that different groups not only have different languages, they have different world’s views reflected in their languages
In very simple term, the Aztecs not only didn’t have a figure in their culture like “ Santa Claus”, they did not have a word for this figure either
If two languages appear to have very different ways of describing the way of world is called linguistic determinism
Language determines thoughts (You can only think in the categories which your language allows you to think in)
Eskimos in English
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf produced arguments in 1930s that language of American Indians is different from other Europeans languages
Hopi Indians Tribes perceived differently from other English speaking tribes, distinction b/w animate and inanimate (Cloud, Stone)
Confusion b/w (animate, feminine, living, female—door, stone)
All languages of the world have certain common properties, those common properties called linguistics universals and can be described with definitive feature of languages
Arbitrary symbol systems, noun like and verb components, set of sound patterns, Grammar, prepositions
Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society.
Sociology of Language:
Sociology of language focuses on the language’s effect on the society. It is closely related to the field of sociolinguistics, which focuses on the effect of the society on the language.
A sociology of language would seek to understand the way that social dynamics are affected by individual and group language use
Social Dialects are varieties of language used by groups defined according to class, education, age, sex, and a number of other social parameters.
Concept of Prestige:
In sociolinguistics, prestige describes the level of respect accorded to a language or dialect as compared to that of other languages or dialects in a speech community. The concept of prestige in sociolinguistics is closely related to that of prestige or class within a society. Generally, there is positive prestige associated with the language or dialect of the upper classes, and negative prestige with the language or dialect of the lower classes.
Language, Society and Culture
By: Muhammad Afzal & Zammad Aslam
The principle of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects the ways in which its speakers are able to conceptualize their world, i.e. their world view. Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is generally understood as having two different versions: (i) the strong version that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories and (ii) the weak version that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behavior.
The idea was first clearly expressed by 19th century thinkers, such as Wilhelm von Humboldt who saw language as the expression of the spirit of a nation. The early 20th century school of American Anthropology headed by Franz Boas and Edward Sapir also embraced the idea. Sapir’s student Benjamin Lee Whorf came to be seen as the primary proponent as a result of his published observations of how he perceived linguistic differences to have consequences in human cognition and behavior. Harry Hoijer, one of Sapir’s students, introduced the term “Sapir–Whorf hypothesis”, albeit infelicitous due to Sapir’s non-involvement with the idea and the term’s misleading use of hypothesis in a colloquial (i.e. non-scientific) sense. Whorf’s ideas were widely criticized, and Roger Brown and Eric Lenneberg decided to put them to the test. They reformulated Whorf’s principle of linguistic relativity as a testable hypothesis and conducted experiments designed to find out whether color perception varies between speakers of languages that classified colors differently. As the study of the universal nature of human language and cognition came in to focus in the 1960s the idea of linguistic relativity fell out of favor. A 1969 study by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay showed that color terminology is subject to universal semantic constraints, and the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis was seen as completely discredited.
From the late 1980s a new school of linguistic relativity scholars have examined the effects of differences in linguistic categorization on cognition, finding broad support for weak versions of the hypothesis in experimental contexts. Effects of linguistic relativity have been shown particularly in the domain of spatial cognition and in the social use of language, but also in the field of color perception. Recent studies have shown that color perception is particularly prone to linguistic relativity effects when processed in the left brain hemisphere, suggesting that this brain half relies more on language than the right one. Currently a balanced view of linguistic relativity is espoused by most linguists holding that language influences certain kinds of cognitive processes in non-trivial ways but that other processes are better seen as subject to universal factors. Current research is focused on exploring the ways in which language influences thought and determining to what extent. The principle of linguistic relativity and the relation between language and thought has also received attention in varying academic fields from philosophy to psychology and anthropology, and it has also inspired and colored works of fiction and the invention of constructed languages.
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Jane Austen; “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort and to have done with all the rest.”
Jane Austen has returned to bring the world back to its senses. Hollywood’s honest heroine for 1996 proved to be Jane Austen with Sense and Sensibility nominated for Oscar in seven categories and Emma nominated for Costume Design and selected for Music Original Musical or Comedy Category. Sense and Sensibility brought Emma Thompson an Oscar for Best Screenplay based on materials previously produced or published, making her the first woman to be nominated for both Best Actress and screenwriter in the same year.
It was in 1796 when Jane Austen started writing Pride and Prejudice in her small house in Chawton, Hampshire. Could she ever imagine in her wildest dreams that 200 years later her stories would interest millions of people from all over the world? Could she have believed that Sense and Sensibility would become the 160th most popular of all films made between 1900 and 1997? Could we, when studying Jane Austen in school and/or university, foresee that we would rush to the cinemas to see the latest Austen film? Hollywood could…
My reasons for writing this paper are not to discover whether Jane Austen adaptations are successful or not; but rather to find out why they have become so popular in a cinematic context dominated by action films. How could stories from the late 18th and early 19th centuries find an audience in an era dominated by disaster films?
Jane Austen’s popularity can be traced back to the second decade of the 19th century. Although she started writing in her early twenties, her first book was published in 1811. At 36, Austen published Sense and Sensibility on her own expense. She had thought that sales of the book would not repay the expenses, therefore she had put aside some of her limited income. However, Sense and Sensibility not only covered its expenses, but made a profit of about £150. It was an immediate success; and encouraged Austen to write further novels. Pride and Prejudice followed in 1814 in three volumes; later the first edition of Mansfield Park, though it was badly printed and full of mistakes, sold out in six months.
Perhaps this popularity had a lot to do with her characters, which appeared down to earth, and recognizable in any society. Sir Walter Scott praised her for “that exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting”. Even the Prince Regent became an Austen fan It is often said that he used to keep a series of her novels in each of his residences.
Austen experienced a decline in popularity in the 50 years following her death. However, by 1870 her reputation began to increase once more, chiefly as a result of the work of her niece, J.E. Austen-Leigh, who published A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1870. The success of that volume was unprecedented: in the preface to the second edition, Austen-Leigh wrote: “The Memoir of my Aunt, Jane Austen, has been received with more favour than I had ventured to expect. The notices taken of it in the periodical press, as well as letters addressed to me by many with whom I am not personally acquainted, show that an unabated interest is still taken in every particular that can be told about her.”
In the 1920s the reaction to Romanticism brought a new impetus to Jane Austen’s popularity. Many readers appreciated her for her sensibility, her balance and her avoidance of wild passion. A proof of the popularity of Austen’s novels at the time can be seen in Rudyard Kipling’s story, called “Janeites”, in which he tells about a group of lieutenants in 1918, trying to make a soldier memorise her novels.
Nonetheless, there were critics – chiefly in the academic world – who disliked Austen. In 1928, for instance, H.W.Garrod wrote a book named Jane Austen:A Depreciation, in which he defined her as “intolerably sensible”. Such reactions did not have much effect on Austen’s popularity. Numerous Jane Austen Societies were formed throughout the world; her books were endlessly read and reprinted; some of them were turned into stage plays; whilst Pride and Prejudice was made into a Hollywood film, directed by Robert Z.Leonard, with Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet and Laurence Olivier as Mr Darcy, in 1940.
Within half a century, however, Jane Austen’s popularity had soared, chiefly as a result of the Andrew Davies’s adapation of Pride and Prejudice for the BBC. The BBC had dramatised Austen’s novels before – many of them had been turned into serials for the Sunday tea-time slot, notably Pride and Prejudice in 1980; but this was a big-budget adaptation, made for prime-time television in association with the American company the Arts and Entertainment Network. The last of the six episodes was watched by over ten million British viewers, almost 40 percent of the total UK television audience. In the same year, the BBC also screened an adaptation of Persuasion [which had a limited cinema exposure in London and other major British cities]. Hollywood also helped to re-establish Austen’s reputation; both Sense and Sensibility and Douglas McGrath’s version of Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, were released in 1995. Clueless carried the story of Emma and Mr Knightley to a Los Angeles high school in the 1990s. A year later, another adaptation of Emma appeared on British television, made by the independent company Meridian Television, with Kate Beckinsale in the title role.
The 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice was a real success: so much so that a scandal broke out in a small town near Exeter because the last episode could not be broadcast properly. The people protested, claiming that they were deprived of their rights as licence-payers to watch the end of the series. A video version of the series was released before the last episode was even shown and sold out twice, selling more than 100.000 copies. A companion edition of the novel was also published and sold out. Darcy and Elizabeth once again became the best loved characters of the fiction world.
Although not equalling the success of Pride and Prejudice, the BBC film of Persuasion performed tolerably well at the box-office, particularly in the USA. Audiences appeared to respond to the main plot of the novel, which centres on the conflict between elderly prudence and the romantic love of two young people. Although it has been 200 years since Jane Austen started writing Persuasion, the conflict is still valid today. Looking around, many 19 year-old girls can still be seen fighting their parents for the “perfect man”, or simply giving in to their desires. The thoughts of Lady Russell in Persuasion could just as well be uttered now:
Anne Elliot, with all her claims of birth, beauty and mind, to throw herself away at nineteen; involve herself at nineteen with a young man, who had nothing but himself to recommend him, and no hopes of attaining affluence, but in the chances of a most uncertain profession, and no connexions, to secure even his farther rise in that profession; would be indeed a throwing away which she grieved to think of.
The thoughts of Lady Russell on Anne’s wish to marry Captain Wentworth is the typical small town reaction a well-bred 19 year old girl in Turkey in 1998 would obtain from her superiors, if she should wish to marry a musician, for instance.
As in all Jane Austen stories, the lovers come together in the end. The end gives the readers, or the audience nowadays, hope. “It’s a Cinderella story” says director Roger Michell, “It’s boy meets girl. Girl loses boy. Boy finds girl.” Reviewing the film on its American release in 1995, the film critic Laura Miller quoted from Persuasion: “Everything united in him; good understanding, correct opinions, knowledge of the world and a warm heart”. Miller added:
Thus Jane Austen defines an excellent man in her last novel Persuasion, and dares us to find his equal in our own public and private spheres: Bill Clinton? Ross Perot? Brad Pitt? Kurt Cobain? Perhaps the yearning for such an individual inspires the current wave of Austen novels committed to celluloid.
At the end of 1995 came the film version of Sense and Sensibility. The film created a great interest in the book. The novel, published in America by Signet Books, made it to the top ten in the Publisher’s Weekly lists. The producer of the film Lindsay Doran had felt even before the film had been made, that it would be a success, as she stressed in an interview:
The issues in it are still completely fresh. Do you marry the cad or do you marry the nice guy? Do you go after that dangerous guy who makes you feel so great or do you say ‘That’s not going to do me any good,’ and line up with the guy who’s appreciative and loving and solid and will always be there for you and will never make you feel the way the cad makes you feel. It doesn’t stop when you’re 19. This is a problem for women all of their lives, and to a certain degree a problem for men.
Convinced that this project had life in it, she started to look for the perfect scriptwriter and the perfect director. She found her ideal writer in Emma Thompson, who had apparently been reading Austen since she was nine years old. Thompson worked on the script for four years, until she did not know any more which sentences were hers and which were Austen’s. Emma Thompson says that Jane Austen’s works survive because she wrote about subjects that would never lose their importance. “Women still fall in love with the wrong guy, she says, “they still get jilted, they’re still looking for people to marry”.
The person chosen to direct Sense and Sensibility was the Taiwanese director, Ang Lee. The theme of traditional family verses the new generation was familiar to him, particularly as he had worked on The Wedding Banquet, described as the most popular film in Taiwanese history. When it was first announced that Lee was to direct Sense and Sensibility, all translated copies of the novel were sold out in Taiwan. After reading the first few pages of the script Lee found many links between the two societies, British and Taiwanese. “I found a moral bond with my own traditions, disguised under interesting traditions and dresses. Both societies have a tendency to reach the balance between harmony and the opposites,” says the director.’ Lee had another word on why Jane Austen is still popular today: “Austen tells us how much we have to suffer in order to find real love and truth as well as the pain of growing up. These conflicts in one way or another determine our lives. This is a universal issue.”
Having won the top award of the Writers Guild of America with her Sense and Sensibility adaptation, Emma Thompson says, “I think they [film audiences] have misconceptions about Austen in the same way they have misconceptions about Shakespeare that they won’t be able to understand … But one of the things I like about her books most is that her characters are people that we recognise now.”
The diary Emma Thompson kept while making Sense and Sensibility has been published in book form, both in Britain and America, along with her script. The film received many BAFTA Awards, as wall as seven Oscar nominations and an Oscar for best adaptation. The box office gross revenue was $134.1 million worldwide.
On August 12, 1996, Austen’s own favourite character Emma appeared on screen. She was “faultless in spite of all her faults” as Knightley described her in the book. People adored her. Although the author was British, the places were British, nearly all the actors were British, Emma turned out to be a most American movie. It was definitely Austen’s happiest comedy and as Lisa Scbwarzbaum states in her article “the one best suited to the American way of quality drama”.
Emma was a small budget film, costing not much more than $6 million – eventually it made $37,800,000 worldwide, the 67th most popular film of 1996. The project itself, as well as the film, was something that excited director Douglas McGrath even before he had started the film. On February 12, 1994 he wrote in his diary:
Today my parents called in panic: Emma Thompson is doing Emma! It was my turn to panic then, I called my agent in L.A. Dave whom I never saw in panic since I first met him, [he] told me only three words: Sense and Sensibility. The three correct words.”
Emma succeeded in being adored by all movie audiences; the heroine, as portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow, was good natured, well-meaning, snob. Jane Austen’s character Emma also provided the inspiration for Amy Heckerling’s Clueless; not surprisingly, the story fitted the 1990s California Valley Girl environment perfectly. Heckerling wanted to write a comedy of manners, and needed a story that could happen to any girl. Then she thought of Jane Austen and how much she had enjoyed reading Emma at school when she was a teenager. There is a rich girl in the story, who thinks she understands everything, but she is absorbed so much in her own world, that she can not see at all what others can observe clearly. So Heckerling created an idealized dream world based on Emma.
Clueless appeared on screen on July 19, 1995. The box office gross revenue in the first week was $20 million. Emma herself had changed into a popular high school student of 15, named Cher Horowitz. Tai, who is a new student helped by Cher, was Harriet Smith. Mr. Knightley happened to be Josh, Cher’s college-age step brother. Even Mr. Elton was actually named Elton. The film demonstrates once again the fact that although times might have changed, people have stayed the same. The gypsy scene in Emma has been adopted perfectly to prove this point. The gypsies who threaten Harriet Smith in Emma have changed into gang bullies at the local mall who threaten Tai. Tai is rescued by Christian, just like Harriet is rescued by Frank Churchill. Despite these modernisations, the film appealed to Austen aficionados everywhere. A “Janeite” Carolyn Nelson observed:
I finally rented Clueless this weekend and saw it for the first time. Not the typical movie experience, since I was scrutinising every line for the parallel in Jane Austen, but fun! I think my biggest laugh-out-loud was when Cher was sitting in class realizing she ought to find a guy for herself. The sultry music rolls and Christian, sensual mouth, pompadour, and jacket slung over his shoulder, steps into the dassroom bathed in a golden glow. I screamed, “It’s Frank!!!” – my son thought I was nuts.
Examining the works of Jane Austen, the popularity of her novels can be based mainly on the universal themes she chose, her familiarity with her subject, and her optimism. She has focused on themes that never die, such as marriage, social pressure, and the generation gap. The opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice can be considered one of the most famous of all Bnglish comedies of manners: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” In the material world of the 1990s, on the threshold of a new century, the general view on marriage has not changed much from the beginning of the l9th century.
Social pressure, a very popular theme of Austen, still exerts a very powerful influence over people’s lives. The same thing holds true for the generation gap. Although different generations have learnt to live in peace to some extent, it is nonetheless true that however much younger and older members of some families try to understand one another, there are still many points on which they can never agree.
Jane Austen has been criticized by some critics for her want of imagination. However, she saw herself not as a so-called ‘great author’ but rather someone who “knows only her mother tongue and has read little in that … The most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress”. She knew her capacity and she used it. When J.S. Clarke, a clergyman, suggested that she should write a historical novel she said: “No, I must keep to my own style and go my own way. And though I may never succeed in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.” She has demonstrated that ordinary people can have interesting lives, and this is welcomed even in the image-besotted society of the 1990s.
Apart from this realism, however, Jane Austen also to some extent helps to fulfil readers’ wishes and desires: “The unfolding narrative [of Mansfield Park] is at one level a Cinderella story of bow her worth is recognised by the hero who, in spite of obstacles, carries her off at the end of the novel”, as Dr. Ian Littlewood observes in his introduction to the Penguin edition of the novel. This kind of notion is also evident in popular films of recent years, such as Pretty Woman.
Jane Austen does not punisb even the worst villains. At the end everybody is happy and everybody has undergone a process of self-development. As Laura Miller explains:
Finally, Austen’s novels display the serene conviction that decency, civility and common sense will be rewarded. Not by the hand of God, but simply because they lead to warm and lasting relationships and lives free of turmoil, dissatisfaction and debt. What would she think of the contemporary pressure to judge by appearances, seek our own advantage at all times, indulge our most childish caprices while conforming slavishly to trends, and equate material wealth with happiness? Probably that it was too familiar and none too sensible. And perhaps we’re beginning to suspect she was right.”22
Considering all that has been said on Jane Austen and her works, Hollywood made her a gift for her 220th birthday with the film versions of her novels released in 1995. And the gift has been well received by audiences. After all the action and disaster films, it was time for a little rest and a little hope. So as Fanny says about nature in Mansfield Park, we could say about these latest films: “Here’s harmony!… Here’s repose… Here’s what may tranquillise every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could never be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world.”
Be ready to take customers and tutor them before you post your first ad. Your advertising will be most effective if you can create a good first impression with those who call. Good preparation should also show through in your ads.
Choose the subject(s) you will tutor. If possible, select subjects relating to your own expertise, subject of study, or professional experience.
Consider the age range with which you’d like to work. Second graders and high school juniors will have widely varying levels and needs.
Get some experience tutoring, formally if possible. See if your local library has an adult literacy program. Look for volunteer tutoring opportunities in your area and find out whether any offer tutor training. Or, tutor somebody you know, such as a neighbor or family member.
Write a resumé of your tutoring experience and related education. Don’t forget volunteer experience, such as helping a classmate, sibling, or child. You can show this list of qualifications to prospective customers or their parents. Even if you don’t show it to them, it will help to prepare you to promote your services and answer calls.
Consider taking classes or training in how to teach. There is more to it than knowing the subject you’ll teach. You also have to know about how to motivate students and explain things.
Decide how much you will charge. Evaluate your credentials and experience, and find out what others in your area charge.
Decide where you will tutor.If you will go to the students, don’t forget to factor in travel time. If the students will come to you, make sure you are comfortable having them at your home.
Make Business Cards and Brochures that state that you offer tutoring services and hand them out to people you know. Besides being a simple and inexpensive way to spread the word, personal contacts and word of mouth are very powerful and persuasive advertising tools. People tend to trust people they know. Also send these cards and brochures to school counseling offices to let them know about your service. Often they will mention your service to teachers, especially if you mention recommendations from parents and students.
Sign up with a local tutoring agency and let them do the advertising for you. Depending on the agency, be prepared that you may have to demonstrate at least basic academic credentials, such as having a college degree. Also be aware that these agencies take a cut, so you will make less per session than you might freelancing. Also find out what they have in their contracts for non-competition clauses. That said, they can be a good way to build your tutoring experience. But you must also keep in mind that many of these agencies take a very large percentage. You might be much better striking off on your own.
Sign up with an on-line tutoring agency. This and various other on-line services match up tutors and students. If you go with such a service, read the fine print and find out what the fees and restrictions may be. Keep in mind that you may not meet your students personally this way, nor necessarily have long-term contact with them.
Compose your advertisement. Aim to catch attention, then demonstrate value. Mention your credentials and focus on results. Don’t forget to include some information about what subjects and ages you can teach. One approach might begin: “‘Jessica’ raised her math grade from C to A; you(r child) can, too. Ask me how!”
Create different versions of your ad with varying lengths and headlines. A classified ad will read differently than a flyer, for instance. Have somebody proofread your ads. Even if English is your strong point, you can still miss things in your own writing, and you want to come across as professionally as possible.
Advertise locally. Try these options:
The local classified ad pamphlet that comes around in the mail once a week
The classified section in the newspaper
Flyers at local supermarkets, libraries, campuses, etc.
Be prepared to give references. This is where volunteer experience can come in handy, if you don’t yet have some established, satisfied customers.
Encourage your customers to tell others. Moms of students, especially, talk to other moms.
Ask your customers how they heard of you so that you know which advertising approaches work.
When advertising, put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you were a student or a parent, where would you go? What would you read? What would concern you? What would attract you?
Be honest, but don’t be overly modest. Present your work in a good light. Don’t put your prices in your ads unless you intend to use them as a selling point. Otherwise, discuss that after your first impressions are made. Keep in mind, though, that some people believe that lower prices indicate lower quality.
Consider offering a first session for free or a reduced rate. It’s a good incentive for people to try you, and it’s a good opportunity for you and your customers to get to know each other under a little less pressure.
Call your local schools and ask if they have a tutor list, have them put your name on it. If they don’t have one, ask if they would consider starting one. They may require you to come in or to send a resume.
Consider listing in free tutor directories.
Warnings to a Tutor
There are restrictions on certain kinds of advertising. Make sure that you follow guidelines of campuses, libraries, cities, and other establishments where you post flyers or spread handbills, and otherwise obey laws.
Find out whether you need a business license or other credential to work as a tutor.
Be the best tutor you can be. The best advertising is word of mouth from satisfied customers.
Remember, tutoring is considered self-employment, so you will have to pay the appropriate taxes on your income.