Essay #2: comparing novels and films. The proposal is due 3/21; the paper is due 4/4.

The idea of the assignment is to compare the book and film closely, not with a foregone conclusion that the book is better, but to see how a film narrative can supplement, surpass, change or (perhaps) lose something from the literary narrative.

The assignment:

The Proposal:

  1. Which pair of novels/films will you write about. The choice is A Month in the Country, book and film; Namesake, book and film, or The Haunting of Hill House and the 1983 Haunting (book and film). If you have written or given a talk about either A Month in the Country or The Namesake, you must chose one of the other two; if you have covered both, you must write on Haunting of Hill House and the 1963 Haunting. If you are curious about the 1999 Haunting, you could watch that on on your own and could substitute it for the 1963 Haunting, but I warn all students the later part of the 1999 Haunting is very different and much is changed in the earlier part of the film too.
  2. Which choice are you going to do? a, b, or c. 3. A provisional thesis: your thesis should concern why you provisionally think this scene or set of scenes should not have been dropped, made a good addition to the film as a film, or why they are so essential they must appear in both the novel and film.
  3. . The paper would correspond to what Corrigan calls a "formalist" paper -- one concerned with formal features, patterns, themes in the novel and film, but taken as a whole these things have important ideological import (this is a phrase which sums up what Mason and Dixon have shown us in the classic and popular children's books they discuss). So what would you say is the overt ideological project of the novel and/or film? Who does the author/film maker want us to empathize with and why? who is not sympathized with and why?

Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated: March 6, 2012.