The Piano is about a mute woman named Ada whose father forces her to marry a man, Alistair, for money and move to New Zealand with her daughter Flora. Ada has been mute from a very young age and uses piano playing and sign language to express herself.  She is very passionate about her music and eventually falls for a man named Baines who is attracted to her musical talent.  Yet, when Aida’s husband finds out that the two of them are having an affair he board up his home with Ada inside.  Knowing that her husband is aware of the affair Ada forces herself to act as though she is attracted to him and avoids her true love.  Since she cannot see Baines, she sends her daughter to give him a piano key declaring her love for him.  Yet, since Flora has begun to see Alistair as her father she is angered and brings him the key instead.  Due to his anger, Alistair chops off Ada’s index finger with an axe so that she can no longer play the piano.  He then sends Ada and her daughter away with Baines and divorces her.  The piano is ruined on their journey away from Alistar and Ada later expresses her happiness with her new life.  She then starts giving piano lessons and Baines creates a device to replace her missing finger.  Ada also begins taking speech lessons to learn how to speak again.

Pride and Prejudice is set in 18th century England and it is about the middle class Bennett family and their five daughters.  Mrs. Bennet is determined to make sure that her daughters marry young and wealthy men.  Charles Bingley fits that description and has recently moved nearby.   With much anticipation, the Bennetts bring their daughters Elizabeth and Jane to their neighbors’ ball in hopes of one of them connecting with Mr. Bingley.  Even though Jane seems to be connecting with Charles, Elizabeth does not care for his friend Darcy.  Yet, Elizabeth and Darcy seem to constantly run into each other even though they do not like one another.  Eventually, Bingley proposes to Jane and she accepts.  That same evening Elizabeth finds out that Darcy may be engaged to another woman and this upsets her.  Later that night, Elizabeth meets Darcy and he expresses his love for her by proposing.  Elizabeth accepts the proposal this time and receives her father’s consent to marry Darcy.   

In comparing/contrasting Pride and Prejudice and The Piano, there are many elements that define each of the films.  Even though both of the films are about love, they differ in many ways.  The settings of the movies were different as well as the contexts.  Ada was forced to marry a man she did not love while Elizabeth got to explore in order to find out what she truly wanted.  Unlike Elizabeth, Ada was not given the opportunity to be with the person she loved without having to face devastating consequences.  In Elizabeth’s case, even though her parents wanted her to find a wealthy man to marry, it was ultimately her choice whereas Ada was sold by her father without caring how she felt or what she wanted. Yet, despite the different situations the women were in, they both were able to find true love after having to overcome a few obstacles. 

In relation to the verbal and visual elements of the films, the verbal element of Pride and Prejudice replaced the visual elements of The Piano and vise versa.  Due to the fact that The Piano involved a mute woman while Pride and Prejudice did not resulted in one film being more verbal than the other.  Overall, I feel as though the sound of the piano helped to make up for the missing verbal element in The Piano.  Also, the visual elements in The Piano including Ada playing the piano and using sign language stood out to me.  For that reason, I believe that The Piano has richer visual symbolism due to a lack of verbiage. 

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