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Better Left UnsaidVictorian Novels, Hays Code Films, and the Benefits of Censorship$
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Nora Gilbert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804784207

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804784207.001.0001

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The Thrill of the Fight

The Thrill of the Fight

Charlotte Brontë and Elia Kazan

Chapter:
(p.115) 4 The Thrill of the Fight
Source:
Better Left Unsaid
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804784207.003.0005

This chapter examines two intensely psychological stories of women whose lives appear to be damaged and even destroyed by the forces of sexual repression: Charlotte Brontë's Villette (1853) and Eliza Kazan's film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). It argues that Brontë's and Kazan's interactions with their respective moral censors were marked less by victimization and oppression than by stimulation and inspiration. Both artists were, in the end, paradoxically motivated by the moral complaints lodged against them to communicate their ideas in subtler, richer, and more powerful ways.

Keywords:   Villette, Streetcar Named Desire, censorship, sexual repression

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