Literature and Film: Research Essay

Length: 1500 words

Due Date: Nov 30


Discuss one of the following topics.  With my approval, you may arrive at your own topic.  However, every topic must examine at least one film and one literary text.   

 Essays must conform to MLA Style.  In an essay of this length, you will refer to 3-5 secondary sources. At least one, and preferrably two, of your sources should be peer-reviewed. It will depend on your topic (for ex, there is lots of peer-reviewed material on Into the Wild). Some sources you may refer to only once, while others you may find yourself quoting more frequently. You may refer to this ESSAY RUBRIC-329 for further instructions. 

1. Does the genre of the literary text necessarily reflect the genre of the film version?  Furthermore, how does genre contribute to your interpretation of the texts?  For example, what happens to Munro's short story when it becomes a feature length film?  You could also consider Memento as film noir, while the story is more postmodern.     

2.  No attempt to turn a literary text into a film is ideologically neutral.  Filmmakers bring their beliefs and agendas to the act of adaptation.  Subsequently, the adaptation often reflects these biases and motives in profound ways.  Discuss a film (and director) that you believe has adapted the literary text in a manner that significantly changes how you think about the key characters and/or themes. 

3.  What does it mean for a film be faithful to the literary original?  Which film do you believe best maintains the integrity of the original text and its themes?  

4.  Discuss the possibilities and problems involved in translating a literary text into film.

5.  Discuss the depiction of gender in the literary text/film. For example, compare Strayed's relationships with men in her book compared to the film.

6.  Using any literary text/film, discuss how we potentially see violence differently in literature and film.  

7.  Discuss the theme of aging in "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" and Away from Her.  How is the treatment of the elderly depicted?  

8.  As Christians, how do we interpret and learn from decidedly non-Christian texts?  Is there a literary text that loses its Christian themes in the film, or vice versa?  

9.  Discuss              a) grace and forgiveness in any literary text/film.                                                                                          




   b) justice in any literary text/film.

10.  Choose any literary text and its cinematic counterpart and discuss how they contribute to what you believe is the significant theme of the text.  For example, you could discuss the role of grace in "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" and Away from Her. 

111.  Discuss Cheryl Strayed's' Romantic view of Nature in the text/film. You could compare his perspective to Thoreau's Walden, for example, or or to any other text that Strayed admired.

12. Discuss Chris McCandless or Cheryl (or both) as cult figures.

13. Discuss vigilantism in any of the appropriate texts. 

14. How does True Grit upset the traditonal notion of the western hero?