Feminism in Downton Abbey

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Adina Matos English: Writing for the Humanities Professor Laskin 12/9/2013 Feminism in “Downton Abbey” Television used to be “the vast wasteland” (“When TV Became Art Good-bye boob tube, hello brain food” Emily Nussbaum) but as the world became more cultured and knowledgeable so did television. Series on television became art; “it had already begun to dawn on viewers that television was something that you could not just merely enjoy and then discard but brood over and analyze, that could challenge and elevate, not just entertain.” (Nussbaum) The theme of two worlds clashing and one coming over victorious is re occurring in the humanities such as novels, art, and in this case a television series, which combines words and imagery to relay important meanings to their audiences. Downton Abbey is a British period five seasons, so far, television series drama created by Julian Fellowes. A big theme Fellowes put into the series “is the transition to the world we know today.” (“Julian Fellowes Q&A” Masterpiece, pbs.org) Fellowes explains the themes of leaving the ‘old world’ and entering ‘new;’ I quite deliberately chose a period just before the First World War, when ostensibly this is the old world in which everything is very ordered and everyone knows their place; but in another way, it's on the brink of the modern world. These people are riding in cars and catching trains and making telephone calls and receiving telegrams; and women's rights and trade union rights are starting to disrupt the old order. It's a world that the modern audience can understand. We're not asking them to go to a distant planet. (“Julian Fellowes Q&A” Masterpiece, pbs.org) A motif that falls under this plot theme is feminism. Feminism is displayed with the specific the three Crawley daughter characters, Lady Mary, Lady Edith, and Lady Sybil. These are strong independent
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