Where the invisible and visible meet
O'Leary, Jennifer M.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis is an exploration of the supposed absence of the main character in Emile Zola’s Nana. Even though she is the namesake of the novel, the femme fatale is never given a consistent voice of her own, leading this study to explore the heroine through the eyes of several literary characters: those of the narrator, the novel’s reader and the diegetic women and men in Nana’s Paris. This work then moves into a case study of four films—each one interpreting Zola’s Nana in a different light—to uncover the benefits and limitations of seeing the main character in a literal sense. In the end, the converging themes found in both the literary and cinematic perspectives indicate that Nana is not “invisible,” as many scholars believe, but rather something larger, more universal and more complex than can be contained in any one, individual work.