Author Archives: kelsey214

Common Sensation Novel Quaities as Seen in “The Moonstone” and “Clue”

Allingham quotes P. D. Edwards saying the term “Sensation Novel” “was originally applied disparagingly to a broad range of crime, mystery, and horror novels written in the early 1860s.” The Victorian Sensation novel came about around 1860 when the society started to find new ways of reading and printing texts such as an increase in libraries, tabloid journalism, and the circulation of the newspaper. Also around this time, reforms and abolition were occurring; reform in divorce procedures as one could imagine, would stir up possible thoughts about how to end a marriage in another way…. bang bang.

Being that “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins was considered the first detective novel in the English language, it has many of the typical sensationalist aspects. One that we discussed in class, is the use of drugs, potions, or poisons. In this stories case, it’s drugs. Ezra Jennings addiction to Opium helps to ultimately solve he crime, and Franklin Blake’s attempt to go cold turkey on his addiction to tobacco makes him an insomniac, thus giving the Dr reason to give him drugs to treat his sleep disorder when in reality it caused him to unknowingly steal the moonstone.

Romantic love triangles are also common in sensation novels. In “The Moonstone”, Godfrey proposes to Rachel twice however she remains in love with Franklin despite her anger towards him on occasion. She proves her love to him by not giving him up when she knows she saw him take the moonstone with her own two eyes.

Another sensationalist trait is characters adopting disguises. At the end of the novel, Godfrey is revealed to be a sham. His disguise as the sailor shows his hidden double life and that appearance isn’t always what it seems. Though Godfrey is described as better looking then Franklin, his personality is what wins Rachel over to him.

This novel very different from, yet reminds me of the famous novel “Clue” by Michael McDowell. There are many different characters who all become suspects in the murder of “Mr. Body”, just as there are many suspects who are accused or questioned for the theft of the moonstone. Just as Mr. Godfrey is in disguise, “Mr. Body” turns out to not be the dead host, but the butler who has set up this whole scandal. I’m sure you all have played the board game before so you know that with allotted clues, the truth is revealed at the end. Heightened suspense, another sensational characteristic can most certainly be felt by the reader in both novels, however I recommend the film version as well. Here is a clip that shows everyone’s anxiousness toward finding out who the culprit is in the film version of “Clue”. Mr. Body, the man who first speaks says “If you denounce me to the police, you will also be exposed and humiliated.” This makes me think of when Rachel chooses not to expose Franklin except not for her caution of being humiliate, but because she loves him. Mrs. Peacock shows her need for alcohol just like the character in “The Moonstone” need their drugs. It also brings up the idea of poison; another sensationalist occurrence.

Both “The Moonstone” and “Clue” display common sensationalist themes, just as most mystery novels do. Enjoy the clip! I suggest the full film/book!

Similarities between Jane from “Jane Eyre”, and Janie from “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

Jane’s temperament throughout the story can be seen to reflects multiple characters in literary history. Being that I recently read the novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, I immediately drew a connection between the two main characters.

When I think of how to describe Jane in “Jane Eye”, I think of independent, love bound, and somewhat defying. Same goes for the character Janie in Hurston’s novel. Besides the fact that there names are fairly alike, they both embody traits that make them different when compared to other women during there era’s.

What stands out is Jane’s strong belief in gender and social equality. Her persona challenges the Victorian prejudices against women during this time, not to mention the poor/lower class citizens. -When she produces feelings towards Mr. Rochester, she first feels inadiquite against his social status, yet later on defy’s that thought and makes the seemingly unhappening, happen by being with him. Mr. Rochester is said to have searched high and low for a lover, but I bet nobody expected him to go for a women of such lower status then he. When Miss Fairfax witnesses the first kiss between Jane and Mr. Rochester, she is astonished and disproves of the marriage while being very cold towards Jane. This kind of pairing between people during this era was not typical.

In “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Janie the protagonist, defies categorization. In the movie clip of the book I will post at the end, the first two minutes ever so clearly portray exactly how careless and opposed to socail rank she is. The opening scene is Janie walking back into the town she’s from, and being critisized by everyone because of her disheveled apperance. Throughout the novel, Janie is married multiple times. Her first marriage is set up by her Grandmother Nanny Crawford in order to make sure Janie is financialy well off. Being married to Mr. Killicks, felt like being a slave to Janie. He ultimately bought her over based on her phisical apperance and had her do grewling labor. To show her independence, she runs away one day and instead decides to go off with  Mr. Starks. Starks is a very wealthy and known politician and businessman. Janie however, doesn’t go after him for his money, but because his charm convinces her that she loves him. Janie is a character who is strictly in search of love, and independence. As you will see, the first line of the movie is “There’s two things everybody got to findout for themselves. They got to findout about love, and they got to findout about living”. This is percicelsy what Jane in “Jane Eyre” is looking to do.

Jane denies St. John’s proposal simply because she does not love him. When Jane finally reaches Mr. Rochester at the end and tells him she will never leave him again, it’s as if she can only find happiness through marriage. In the end, love outrules all things. Yes, during the year she was away from Thornfield she became more independent, thus finding herself along the way, but she was nevertheless still unsatisfied.

A balance between love and independence is what both these characters need and find in order to feel complete and utter happiness. That being said, Janie in “Their Eyes Were Watching god”, gets married a third time to her apparent true love. Unlike her first and second husbands, Tea Cake (yes, his name is Tea Cake) does not boss her around and make her feel inferior.

Perhaps Jane feels as if she has found her independent yet loving relationship with Mr. Rochester now that he has lost a hand and his sight in the fire set by his insane wife Bertha. Regardless, the fact is that she went back for him without knowledge of the catostrophic event.

I leave you with the movie of “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. Janie is played by Halle Berry which is more reason to watch it in my opinion. If you don’t feel like or have time to watch the entire thing, just watch the first couple minutes to see just how opposed Janie is to the way women are supposed to be acting during this time. Enjoy!



Emma and Cher

Ever since the first day of class when Prof. Tougaw showed us the opening clip of the move “Clueless” and how it relates to “Emma”, I can’t stop picking out things that occur in the book that coincide with the film. Below, I’ve chosen some of my favorite scenes from “Clueless” and described how they correspond to the novel “Emma”. Enjoy!

The first scene I’ve chosen is where Emma decides she wants to take Harriet under her wing and make her more desirable despite her lack of wealth. “The misfortune of your birth ought to make you particularly careful as to your associates”(23). After Harriet becomes Emma’s new friend, she bestows in her how to act and socialize in order to fit the mold Emma provides her with. -The character Cher represents Emma, while her friend Tai in the movie could relate to Miss Taylor or Mrs.Weston being that they’re Emma’s more experienced friends in the novel. -Description of the cliques = the social structure in “Emma”.

Next, I chose to focus on how Emma tells Harriet to deny Robert Martin’s proposal because of his poor class status. Mr. Martin in “Emma” would play the character Travis is “Clueless”. He is a skater boy who does drugs and is known to be a lowlife deemed socially unacceptable according to Cher. Ironically enough, just as in the movie, Harriet and Robert Martin end up getting together at the end. -The lackluster qualities portrayed towards the character Travis in the film, display the low class in society he is known for in “Emma”.

Emma’s blindsided by Mr. Elton’s affection towards her due to the fact that she’s so set on pairing him and Harriet together. In the novel, Emma paints a portrait of Harriet, making her seem even more beautiful then she really is. Mr. Elton seems mesmerized at the painting and offers to bring it to London to be framed. Nevertheless, he only enjoys the artwork because Emma did it, not because it is of Harriet. In the movie, Cher takes a photo of Tai and Elton proceeds to hang it up in his locker; the same concept of a misunderstanding.

“Me. Elton in love with me!-What an idea!” … “I thank you; but i assure you you are quite mistaken. Mr. Elton and I are very good friends, and nothing more…”(80).

When Emma thinks that her and Mr. Churhill are suitable for eachother, she falls for him wholeheartedly. “Now, it so happened that in spite of Emma’s resolution of never marrying, there was something in the name in the idea of Mr. Churchill, which always interested her”(85). Though he is attractive and charismatic, Emma realizes that he is also irresponsible and therefore incompatible for her. Sardonically, Christian(Mr. Churchill) turns out to be gay in the movie, also making them quite incompatible.

In “Emma”, Mr. Knightley realizes he has feelings for Emma when Frank Churchill shows up in Highbury.

“‘He is a person I never think of from one month’s end to another,’ said Mr.Knightley, with a degree of vexation, which made Emma immediately talk of something else, though she could not comprehend why he should be angry.”

In the film “Clueless”, Mr. Knightley is played by the character Josh. When Cher (Emma) goes on a date with Christian (Mr.Churchill), you can see the immense jealousy and concern that Josh has towards this. Also, the portrayal of Cher’s father (Mr. Woodhouse) shows his attachment to his daughter and his dislike of change/seeing his daughter grow up.

Finally, the moment I had anticipated: Mr. Knightley confesses his love for Emma. “I cannot make speeches, Emma:”-he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intellibible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.-“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.- You hear nothing but truth from me.-I have blamed you, and lectured you, adn you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.-Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne eith them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.-But you understand me.-Yes, you see, you understand my feelings-and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice”(296).

Feel free to make more connections to the cips i’ve provided and the novel, as there are so many more comparisons. -Now that we’ve finished the book, go and watch the whole movie if you haven’t !