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Title: Alienated 'Others' : the representation of women in the early works of Jean-Luc Godard
Author: O'Neill, Clare
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Jean-Luc Godard has long been recognised as a highly influential and innovative director who continues to this day to make radical and challenging films. This thesis examines his portrayal of women as "The Other" in his films made during the period of 1959 to 1966. It examines the characteristics of stereotypical Godardian women, their difficulties with communication, their place in the work sphere, in relationships, in Godardian society and in their environments. It argues that Godard, in his early films, continually presents women as being different from, and inferior to, men in all spheres of their lives. This makes women, by the definitions purported by Simone de Beauvoir, ''The Other" in opposition to the male 'Subject'. This is evinced through his frequent portrayal of women as subordinates. At work the sexual division of labour marginalises Godard's women and as a result they are often pigeonholed in service roles or driven to prostitution. In relationships, Godard shows how men are the dominant partners and often maintain conversational control over the women who lack the ability to articulate themselves and assert their independence. Godard's women are conditioned by a patriarchal society that objectifies and dehumanises them through the obsessive promotion of consumer capitalism, which drives the 'need' in women to maintain a perfect image for the consumption of men. Their environments are bleak and prison-like, with no attempt to escape, and any attempt to reject the values and rules of society characterises them as alienated "Others". The theme of women as "The Other" has yet to be covered in depth by any other academic, and as such the ideas put forward in this thesis not only expand upon the existing criticism of Godard's work but also generate an original analysis of Godard's portrayal of women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available