Mutations of Gender, Genre and the British Home in "The Servant" and "Orlando"


  • Caroline Ford University of Alberta


This paper explores the way constructions and transformation of both gender and genre are transformed and defamiliarized in order to draw attention to their inherently constructed nature. Although both gender and genre typically attempt to present themselves as inherent and natural they are in actuality as crafted and culturally mediated forms of expression. Joseph Losey's The Servant (1963) and Sally Potter's Orlando (1992) both align themselves with well-established genres of British national cinema—The Servant with classical realism andOrlando with heritage costume drama—while also disrupting these conventions, drawing on other genres to highlight the performative nature of gender and genre.Through an examination of the transformation of British home, I demonstrate that by destabilizing firmly held British ideals these films signal the artificiality of the strictly defined boxes of gender and genre upon which British identity is founded.

Author Biography

Caroline Ford, University of Alberta

4th year, Bachelor of Arts English Major, Film Studies Minor