Sophie Frank

Date of Award


Document Type

M.A. Essay

First Advisor

Annabelle Cone

Second Advisor

Paul Young


In this essay, I interrogate visual representations of a lesbian love story in Jul’ Maroh’s graphic novel Le bleu est une couleur chaude and its film adaptation by director Abdellatif Kechiche, La vie d’Adèle : Chapitres 1 et 2. By studying the diegesis of each work’s opening scene, I reveal that the graphic novel embodies Barthes’s concept of a writerly text, or one that requires its reader to produce its meaning, while the film, as a readerly work, constructs a passive viewing experience for its audience. I argue that each author’s narratological approach exemplifies the particular manner in which they portray queerness throughout these stories: the reader of the graphic novel is urged to interpret the lesbian plot point as banal, while the film steers its audience towards viewing the love story as a spectacle.