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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Instruments of Desire: How the Monomyth and Sexual Behavior Eliminate the Gender Differential in Jane Campionís "The Piano"

This paper focuses on Jane Campionís 1992 film "The Piano." Drawing on Joseph Campbellís theory of the monomyth, it argues that by portraying a female protagonist in a male-dominated society, Campion creates a world in which gender has no boundaries. Campbellís monomyth theory states that all protagonists or heroes undergo a series of events in what is known as the heroís journey. Evidence in Campbellís "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" suggests the theory is predominantly patriarchal. In Campionís film, however, the female protagonist follows Campbellís theory of the heroís journey, proving it is not only applicable to male protagonists. Moreover, through his physical acts and manner of communication with the protagonist, her lover indicates that he does not follow the conventions of the patriarchal society. These elements combine to prove that Campionís film is feminist in its gender representation and universal in its approach through mythology.

Presenters: Brian Boger (Undergraduate Student)
Jennifer LaMarsh (Undergraduate Student)
Jonathan Mannhaupt (Undergraduate Student)
Emily Wilkins (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Film Studies
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)

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