Intertextuality: The relation Of Old Within New
Each text is not the effort of one person; theme and plot derived from existing texts are present in newer texts through repetition and similarity. Authors compile from pre-existing texts known as intertextuality, the use of prior texts in current texts. Julia Kristeva, a psychoanalyst is the first to introduce the term ‘intertextuality’. She redefines the theories established by Ferdinand de Saussure and Mikhail Bakhtin and suggests a text is not simply interpreted by its words, instead it is a study based on the works it has adapted (lecture). Kristeva mentions that although a writer usually talks to a specific audience, a text exists in time, and it is reprinted and translated with addressing the language of the current time period known as parole and langue. The novel Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813, but another novel based on the same plot called Bridget Jones Diary, a modern version of Pride and Prejudice was published in 1996. Every text is the absorption and transformation of another, with similar themes and conditions considering the lifestyle in that time period, known as a mimetic orientation. Intertextuality, the relationship to other prior texts is present among Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones Diary, and A Dog’s Head through the overarching similarity of characters, value of class and synchronic language. The common element of character development is interacting between Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones Diary, and A Dog’s Head. During the 1800’s, the value of high culture and wealth was outstandingly important to the people of that decade. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a plot consisting of high culture, and is strongly referenced in connection to Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones Diary. Fielding’s borrows the plot from Austen and also has some of the same characters and events in her novel. The character of Elizabeth Bennett and Bridget Jones is similarly constructed with the hardships and love crisis they suffer from. First of all, both protagonists fall in love with a man whose last name is Darcy. Both Mr. Darcy are respected and wealthy men. Furthermore, both protagonists share similar feelings, for example, at the ball event Elizabeth is hurt to hear that Mr. Darcy thinks of her to be “‘tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt’” him (Austen 13). Similarly, Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice hurts Bridget by saying she is ill mannered and does not know how to talk (45). At this time both the protagonists dislike both Mr. Darcy and have severe hatred for him. Secondly, Mr. Wickam in Pride and Prejudice is the same as Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones Diary. Both Mr. Wickam and Daniel Cleaver are despised by Mr. Darcy but admired by the heroine at first. Bridget’s mother is a bit like Mrs. Bennett, as they both insist their daughters get married to wealthy men. Bridget believes she is unattractive because she is fat. When things do not work out with Daniel Cleaver, she questions, “Why does nothing ever work out? It is because I am too fat” (Fielding 181). Bridget is unhappy about her appearance all the time, which is similar to the character of Edmond in A Dog’s Head. The novel A Dog’s Head introduces the unrealistic character of Edmond who is born with the head of a dog, a spaniel in particular. Ovid establishes the theory of metamorphosis emphasizing the transformation of a human to an animal feature in his poem “metamorphosis”. This theory is present in A Dog’s Head as Edmond is a human but has a dog’s head. Edmond is always troubled in life because people criticize him for having the head of a dog, and to add to that, “the head of the most ridiculous dog to be found" (2). He has a series of unsuccessful relationships, for which he blames his appearance to be the reason, somewhat like Bridget who also blames her weight for her breakup with Daniel. Although the author does not provide a description of Bridget, we know a bit about her...
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