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Examine the representation of the main characters in 'Brief Encounter' what do you learn about social class and moral attitudes of this film?

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Introduction

Examine the representation of the main characters in 'Brief Encounter' what do you learn about social class and moral attitudes of this film? Brief Encounter was produced in 1945, Carlton visual entertainment, and directed by David Lean, who also directed 'great expectations'. The film is a simple but realistically-honest, unsentimental, self-told social melodrama of the quiet desperation involved in an illicit, extra-marital love affair between two married, middle-class individuals over several weekly meetings. The screenplay was adapted and based on playwright Noel Coward's 1935 short one-act play 'Still Life'. This film gives an optimistic representation of the middle classes / upper classes. It gives a traditional idealised image of England in the 1940's. Laura, the main character is married, she is a housewife who stays at home looking after the children and the house. The husband is the head of the household and earns the families income. His character is a traditional husband, sitting in front of the fire smoking and reading the newspaper. ...read more.

Middle

They visit the cinema regularly, go into the countryside, and go shopping together and returns to the tearoom at the train station where Dr. Alec and Laura end their romantic meeting. The film contains a dual narrative of the working classes, a parallel to the plot between Laura and her romantic lover. The working classes is the sub-plot of the story, they have more freedom of society as they are not affected by the strict moral and behaviour codes that rule the actions of the upper class / middle class. The porter openly flirts with the manager of the tearoom by touching her inappropriately. The two social classes do not intermingle and the upper classes dominate the lower. The lower class try to live up to the upper class by putting on a proper English accent when around upper class people, however when we see them around their own social group their accent is like 'cockney' language. The reason for the representation of the social classes is because the film was financed by the upper class society and it can be used to show a contrast between them. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, at one point, she is in the physical presence of her husband, imagining that she is telling him about her affair - but in reality, she is only speaking to herself. Throughout the film, she smoothly shifts from her role as a suburban housewife and mother, to a hopeful woman who is excitedly on the verge of romance, to a self-analytical, reflective individual who painfully looks back in hindsight on the entire affair and responds to her full array of emotions. They both struggle against their budding, radiating love, believing that it will not bring them the true happiness that they both seek. Out of a sense of duty to their families, to moral and social propriety, and to their own repressed upbringings, their troubled, agonized love causes them to guard their actions and to feel pained by the pressure building from the disruptions. However it is not all such a sad love story as at the end we see Laura and her husband Fred come close together in their relationship for the first time, which the audience like to see in the 1940's. ...read more.

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