UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

This is what dreams are made of : the effects of adaptation of popular tween/teen girl novels, films, and screenplay novelizations on constructions of varying femininities : The princess diaries and The Lizzie McGuire movie Andersen, Kirsten


This thesis investigates the representations of adolescent femininity in post-2000 American novels and films produced for tween and teen girl audiences. It uses texts with similar narrative structures to compare the effects of adaptation from book-to-film to the effects of adaptation from screenplay-to-junior novelization. The overall methodological approach is discourse analysis, informed by narrative analysis adapted by Brian McFarlane from the work of Roland Barthes to consider the difference between what is transferred across media and what is adapted. Representations of femininity in the books and movies are explored through the distributional narrative functions, which can be transferred and may be adapted, as well as integrational narrative functions, which generally must be adapted according to medium. Gillian Rose's methods of visual analysis are used to consider the books and movies as objects, accounting for their technological, compositional and social elements. Varying discourses result from adaptation. The book-to-film adaptation strategies of transfer result in similar storytelling in both versions, while re-emphasis and adaptation also alter the discourse considerably. The film-to-book adaptation uses transferring devices and does not fully adapt the movie to a literary medium. All the texts reinscribe certain notions about femininity and offer many stock characters. Both movies imply adulthood as an endpoint of character development, while the book versions offer a consistently adolescent or pre-adolescent point of view. Both movies foreground the act of looking although it is not necessitated by the medium.

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