Sunday, 16 December 2012

Cranford - Class and Status

Mise en scene:

scruffy clothes
dark small house
bare feet
low key lighting

Mr Carter
expensive boots
nice office

Lady of manor
white extravagant dress

Ladies in carriages
curled hair, expensive dresses

Man on horse
ladies all cooing to him
top hat
people have heard of him

The mise-en-scene in this clip reveals a contrast between rich and poor people. The poor people are seen to be living in the forest and wear dark, scruffy clothes. In contrast to this, the rich are dressed in higher class clothing. Focusing on Harry and the older man, he is shown to be a lower-class boy with little knowledge and no formal schooling. The dark, dingy lighting juxtaposes with the older man, who has clean and sophisticated clothes. The older man, Mr Carter, pays the boy and as the boy eats the bread in the office, he is seen to be sympathetic towards Harry.


birds and rustling in the woods
poor family live out of the way
dialogue 'Appy birthday 'Arry' indicates non RP speech

door squeaks = run down cottage
heavy depressing music
music when dad rises indicated he hold the power
when no dialogue, indicates depressing
music when boy giddy= emotional

horses and well spoken Lady of the manor indicate wealth
music upbeat when work commences on marquee

When we are first introduced to Harry, non-diegetic sound is heavy and depressing, this represents the class of the boy, showing that he does not have a happy or fulfilling life at this young age. The door squeaking when he arrives home indicates that his family do not have a wealthy lifestyle.
When the boy enters the greenhouse, the music is of a higher pitch which could indicate the higher status of the owners of the greenhouse.
The viewer is then introduced to the sound of heavy footsteps giving us the impression that someone of higher status is approaching and this creates tension.


can't see the house in full view, hidden by trees shows Harry shouldn't be there
camera moves with and focuses on Harry, shows he's important,
over the shoulder shot of father telling Harry off
camera shows Harry looking up to all characters
mid/long shot of cramped room
zooms in on boots, showing how grateful he is for them
mid shot of Harry alone in dark
house is surrounded by leaves and shot through the window shows he is an outsider
Mr Carter's boots juxtapose with Harry shoes
two shot shows the differences between the two
high angle of Mr Carter shows his status
Lady on steps = status
master shot of doctor on horse implies he is important

In this clip, the camera angles show class and status in a variety of ways. The juxtaposition of the shack and the manor is shown through the master shots; the shack covered with foliage versus the manor surrounded by by space to show its size. The interior of the shack is bare and the dialogue is the focus, not the interior , whereas in the office, the master shot emphasizes its status. A two shot of the pair shows the clear differences in class and status. The camera follows the work of the outdoor workers to show manual labour compared to the lords and ladies in the carriages who are doing nothing to prepare for the event. 


The editing in this clip is continuity editing to create a sense of realism. The conversation between Harry and his father is carried out using shot reverse shots which illustrates the father's harsh reaction to his son wanting to learn. 
The cutting between the shack, the greenhouse and the manor activities reveals how the class of the characters is closely connected to the locations where they live or work. Many uses of eyeline match and point of view shots are used when the focus in on Harry, indicating that he likes the boots and longs for the bunch of grapes but restrains himself; he is accustomed at the young age of ten to accept disappointment.

No comments:

Post a Comment