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Reframing the Overlooked Woman: Sonia Marmeladova in English-language Screen Adaptations of Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2024
Number of pages176
Awarding Institution
Award date29/09/2023
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This interdisciplinary PhD thesis explores the depiction of the central female character, Sonia Marmeladova, in several English-language film adaptations of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel Crime and Punishment. The research incorporates adaptation studies, film studies, Russian studies, and creative writing.

The theoretical section of the study closely examines Sonia’s complex character in both the novel and on screen. The practical section involves creating a short film, Transgressing, that transfers the action of the novel to modern-day Britain and makes Sonia the main protagonist. The creative process of adapting Sonia’s character undertaken in the process of this research is critically analysed in the last chapter.

The study aims to illuminate the intercultural adaptation process, highlighting the importance of a dialogic approach to creating complex characters and challenging fidelity criticism. The study’s practical implications emphasise the importance of collaboration and creativity in the adaptation process and the ongoing evolution of female characters in screen adaptations.

This thesis provides valuable insights into the process of adapting Crime and Punishment for English-language readers and viewers. The thesis suggests further research to broaden the implications of this study and highlights the potential of adaptation to push boundaries, challenge stereotypes, and create unique and nuanced works of art through collaborative and dialogic approaches.