The French Lieutenant’s Woman
There are many different parallels in the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
Modern vs. the Victorian Age, how society behaved and what they accepted in both ages,
and the obvious parallel between the actors and what is going on in their lives outside of
work. We are placed on a film set watching Meryl Streep as Anne playing a scene as the
character Sarah Woodrof. Similarly, Jeremy Irons plays Charles, as well as, the modern
Mike. Both ages show us love affairs between the actors, both affairs outcomes
dependant on their society. I chose to take a deeper look into the “lives” of Jeremy Irons
within this film and the different aspects of his roles.
The film starts with Charles offering to marry the rich, socially acceptable
Ernestina. While on a walk together he notices the melancholic woman Sarah waiting on
the dangerous pier for her long gone love. At this time in society, men were in control
and sexism was prevalent against women. Social status was very important and could
only be achieved through wealth and by following the rules of society. Sarah had been
moving from town to town in search of some acceptance, but everywhere she was treated
the same, as a “whore.” Her lifestyle can be compared to a chameleon. Sarah has
survived only because she changed to fit that environment the best she could every time
The plot thickens when Charles gets to know Sarah. She narrates her story to the
one person she feels she can talk to. “I think I have a freedom they cannot understand,”
Sarah said to Charles. She believes that Charles can take her away from her life, give her
hope. His feelings are now torn between her, Ernestina, and his endangered social
position. At the same time, Mike and Anna are both actors in love with each other,
pursuing a very passionate affair. They both have family and hide their relationships just
as the ones in the movie. Both Charles...