• Emma,  Holiday Austen

    “A Holly Jolly Christmas”: Oppositional Binaries in McGrath and de Wilde’s Emma

    Both Douglas McGrath and Autumn de Wilde seize upon the holiday scenes in Emma (1815), the only Austen novel with a Christmas scene. Each film’s Christmas scene display the cultivation of relationships and community-building. However, in their respective representations of Emma and Mr. Elton (McGrath) and Emma and Mr. Knightley (de Wilde), the movies underscore binary and oppositional relationships. In these relationships a mirroring occurs, positioning Mr. Knightley and Mr. Elton against each other with Emma as an anchoring force—all against the backdrop of Christmas. In both films, Christmas becomes a kind of oppositional holiday, one that brings out the combativeness of others, not one that creates relationships among them.…

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