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  1. #1
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default English Lit Essays - VERY LONG

    On second thought, can a mod please move this to 'Editing & Writing Topics'



    Ok, I don't know what the likely hood of anybody going through these or anything, but thought I would share them with others that may want to offer suggestions.

    These are 2 separate papers I completed 3-6 weeks ago for my English Lit class. Feel free to have a casual read through them and make some notes. :)

    This first essay is one that I completed on the differences between Harry Potter and the Philosophers(Sorcerers) Stone novel and film. For this assignment, I received a pass mark. (18/30)

    Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone is a well regarded novel written by J.K. Rowling. Since its publication in June 1997, it has become one of the foremost popular fantasy novels directed at a broad audience, the franchise itself having sold over 400 million copies of the books. During the 21st century, it has gained the attention and popularity of both older and younger readers as an escape into a wonderful world of fantasy, containing magic and wonder. In 2000, J.K Rowling agreed to the promotion and creation of the very first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone, directed by Chris Columbus and adapted by Steve Kloves. However upon the films creation, it came under an avalanche of criticism regarding its separation from the books original plot line. Through scrutinizing both mediums, this essay will provide an analysis of the many different facets of the novel and film and some similarities they share, as well as the purpose of utilising both mediums.
    Film adaptations based on novels are regularly produced in order to reach a broader audience than which the novel was first directed. In some cases, when a novel is adapted, there is no change in the plot, story line or character development, however in other cases; various changes are made to the original text in order to reach an even broader audience. Those changes occur as the result of the producers and directors attempting to put a stronger emphasis on specific details which they feel may be an important capture point that may seem interesting to the target audience. Some aspects which may influence the adaptation are the length of the novel, which can cause the inability to condense it, this may lead to content being altered or ignored all together. Due to this large constriction, novels such as Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone, which in itself is a 223 page novel, require time restrictions placed, in order to keep the adaptation within a reasonable running time for the given audience. This alteration to the story can lead to characters being omitted, story line changed, and scenes restructured.
    In order to remain as similar as possible to the original piece of work the adaptation may sacrifice many characters in order to keep most relevant content. In most cases, the director opted to alter scenes which he felt were not crucial to the plot line, as a way to ensure more crucial scenes were left mostly untouched. Few scenes depicted in the novel were altered in order to ensure a large amount of other details more critical to the story line were left wholly untouched. In an interview with Katie Couric, Chris Columbus noted that he wished to remain as true to the book, and to Rowling as possible, confirming that he wanted to “remain faithful to the material” (Columbus, 2011) Other sacrifices that had to be made due to character changes, were scene re-configurations and alterations to the plot line, in order to remove and replace characters that were no longer going to be starring in the film. It is edits such as these that the fan base which preferred the novel, reacted to, in regards to the changing of the story.

    Scene re-configurations and plot alterations happened throughout the film, however they did not always detract from the story line, and in fact, in some cases added content. A specific scene in which this occurred was a scene depicted in ‘The Dark Forest’. In the novel, the scene consisted of Hagrid and his dog, Draco, Harry, Hermione, and Neville. However in the movie, Columbus opted to remove Neville from the scene, and replace him with Ron, in order to give the audience the impression the group of three had been turned into the stars of the film. “But I think the biggest challenge of the first film was just treading carefully on what we were able to do and tearing the movie down to under three hours.” (Columbus, n.d.) Due to the little effect Neville has throughout the first book, Columbus felt it was a necessary sacrifice, in order to not remove important details and show the main characters having an exciting and dangerous adventure that the viewers had come to expect from the novel.
    During the filming of the movie, Columbus strived to maintain true to the novels plot line in relation to the major topics, and the details that built up to those events. There are several differences between the novel and the book. These do not necessarily impact the story line, or make either medium any less enjoyable, but were used as a means to maintain a time frame. Columbus says “I just want kids to see the movie and when they walk out of the theatre say that was just as I imagined it” (Columbus, 2011) This is achievable with some of the details, however with others, where major changes were made, it is impossible to tell whether those changes were for the betterment of the film. For example, a scene depicted in the novel, that is responsible for creating Harry Potters nemesis in the series. This pivotal meeting takes place between Harry Potter, and his nemesis at Hogwarts, originally takes place in Diagon Alley, in “Madam Malkins Robes For All Occasions”. “I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.” Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley.” (Rowling, 1997, p. 60). While Columbus decided to have the first meeting once they were in Hogwarts. While in the film, Harry makes no reference to Malfoy reminding him of Dudley. It is this scene in the novel that truly depicts Harry’s strong distaste for this type of behaviour present. Changes such as this can have an impact in telling the story, dependant on the reader or viewer.


    Due to other choices of character changes used in this adaptation, entire sections of the novel were omitted from the film. Most notably, the scenes containing the Professors Bins and Sprout. Their roles in the film were entirely removed, even though they are in numerous scenes throughout the novel. Professor Sprout is the Herbology Professor, a class of which is entirely omitted, is a crucial plot point in the novel, as a class in which Harry, Ron and Hermione, all learn set skills that lead to the climax at the end of the film, and novel. In the novel, Professor Sprout first appears on page 99, “Three times a week, they went out to the greenhouses behind the castle to study Herbology, with a dumpy little witch called Professor Sprout, where they learnt how to take care of all the strange plants and fungi and found out what they were used for”. Even though this exact class in mentioned during the ending scenes, and is depicted as quite a large learning moment due to that scene, it is entirely omitted from the movie. Professor Sprout does not star in the movies until the second movie. In an interview conducted by Empire Magazine, Columbus explains his reasoning behind the omission of certain characters, explaining that in a novel adaptation, everything cannot be included. “I loved the book so much that it was extremely difficult to cut elements out. One of my favourite characters never made the film – Peeves, the annoying, sort of, mischievous poltergeist. Those sorts of things, there was just too much to film.” (Columbus, n.d., para. 18.). Columbus explains that these decisions were not made light heartedly, but were sacrificed in order to include more fundamental events that occurred in the novel. The omission of these characters was decided as the director felt that it would not hinder the plot line.
    Changes such as these can alter the story and plot line of the novel, however they may not necessarily change the overall telling of the story. These alterations are most probably made to simplify the storyline so it can suit the film. In doing this, it ensures a lower production cost and overall running time, by not needing to construct numerous new sets for scenes that will only continue for less than five minutes. These scenes that don’t heavily influence the novel or film are generally changed or neglected. An example of this is the scene in which Hagrid shows up to tell Harry about Hogwarts. “Harry – Yer a wizard” (Rowling, 1997). Upon receiving this news, in the novel, Hagrid remains with Harry, on the little rock out on the sea, however in the movie, it cuts straight to them leaving and arriving at Diagon Alley. It is in such instances that Columbus has cut away dialogue and scenes in order to maintain the time frame while not detracting from the plot line in an overly interfering way.
    Last edited by HanibalII; 06-Nov-2012 at 02:17.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  2. #2
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: English Lit Essays

    Apart from the exclusion of certain characters throughout the film, there have been minimal changes to the personality traits and behaviors in both the film and novel. Both mediums represent the characters similarly; however the film does not quite add as much emphasis to the “wacky” behavior of Dumbledore. Unfortunately, there are many aspects of his personality that do not get a mention, due to limitations on film production and the ability of the actors and actresses. One of the main scenes in the novel portrays Dumbledore’s eccentric behavior, was excluded from the film was that of the sorting ceremony as well as the singing of the school song. Even though Columbus was unable to fully portray Dumbledore as the same man that Rowling described in her novel, he instead decides to portray Dumbledore as a wise and powerful old man. One of the most noted missing characters in Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone film would be that of Neville Longbottom. He was excluded from numerous scenes in the film, and replaced with other characters such as Ron Weasley. Such occasions include; The meeting of Fluffy, the three headed dog, along with Hermione and Harry, as well as receiving detention for being out of bed after hours. This scene was the buildup to the detention in the Forbidden Forest, in which Ron was used instead. Neville was possibly excluded from these scenes due to his description as a bumbling careless character.
    These changes have occurred in order for the production to appeal to a much broader range than the novel first targeted. In order for the film to live up to the directors expectations, scenes were shortened, excluded, and altered in order to achieve the goal of producing a film similar to the novel, but a film that would still be appealing for the masses of fans expecting to see their most beloved characters. These changes altered the story line, but it is the responsibility of the viewer to decide whether or not they felt the alterations were negative, or positive. The directors aim to create a film that was true to the book was successful for the most part. It consisted of no major plot changes or unexpected situations that affected the story line.



    These short essays were completed as my do at home exam. (3 hour period to write as much as possible on 4 different texts, pertaining to 2 separate questions.


    ‘Fantasy offers young readers not an escape from the challenges of everyday life, but an opportunity to consider those challenges from a less distressing perspective. To what extent is this true?’
    The purpose of reading a fantasy novel, or any novel for that fact, is to “consider the challenges from a less distressing perspective”; however in doing so, the reader will fall into the novel, more so if it is an enjoyable read. It is not due to the reader solely escaping from real life, but a mark of a great read that the reader cannot help but become stimulated by. When a reader reads an article that is more interesting than their own life, they may just fall into the story as it gives them higher feelings of enjoyment and peacefulness.
    J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone in 1997 to be published by Bloomsbury publishing. Her writing is and has been considered the fore most popular form of fantasy writing for the majority of the 21st century. Her writing opened up an entirely fanciful and wonderful world for all readers of any age to explore through many different facets. Through the development of her story, she has allowed the readers the possibility to explore different characters, different worlds, and many different possibilities.
    The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel written by Suzanne Collins in 2008 and published by Scholastic Press. The Hunger Games was her first series to gain worldwide recognition. The novel contains uncommon themes given its reading age. It is classed as a dystopian novel, but its other themes include suffering as entertainment, and specifically outline the inequality between the rich and poor. A dystopian novel is a novel in which contains large themes of pain and suffering, however that is not the major appeal that draws so many readers. It is the Battle Royale style of teens killing each other which appeals to its readers.

    Through Harry Potter, Rowling has allowed readers to take on the characters role and look through their eyes at events and possibilities that are impossible in the real world. Even though Rowlings writing is entirely fictional, in it, she has developed real life scenarios that are quite possible, such as the death of a loved one, complex relationships, and a sense of belonging. Through her writing, Rowling has established an emotional link with the reader that they can use to help deal with the problems in their own reality.

    In both The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, the readers are able to see what toll certain impacts can take on a person and due to those scenarios; it is possible for the reader to form a bond with the character and show empathy towards he or she as they go through the hardship together. This allows the reader to gain greater meaning from the novel and the situations that are explored will have greater emphasis. The reader knows it is fictional, but the reader will see that the fear and anger and psychological damage and manipulation shown in the novel are very possible. Throughout either novel, the reader has the opportunity to consider every perspective in great detail and possibly think over those situations. The reader has the opportunity to “consider those challenges from a less distressing perspective”. During the events that occur throughout the story, the characters themselves learn, which is expected, but at the same time, the reader is absorbing information that could relate to their own situations, be it starting relationships such as in Harry Potter. “Harry, said the other twin, ‘did we introduce ourselves/ Fred and George Weasely. And this is Ron, our brother…..”(p74) Or being strong for your family, such as in The Hunger Games “With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me. “I volunteer!” I gasp. “I volunteer as tribute” (p26). To some, this demonstrates an unfathomable amount of love and courage that is possible, no matter the scenario.
    Throughout both novels, the characters demonstrate primal urges of fear and anger, that most readers are able to connect with. Rowling and Collins demonstrate the most feared action of death, and that it is such a simple thing, however show that it can cause those effected to fight even harder, to push through the hurt and the tragedy of death until they realise they are not alone. Katniss from The Hunger Games regularly goes through stages of death and misery, however in the end, she comes out stronger. “Her hand reaches out and I clutch it like a lifeline. As if it’s me who’s dying instead of Rue.” (p283) As one of the most beloved characters is killed off, it inspires Katniss to fight harder. This could be seen as a metaphor in many people’s lives, that when you lose one thing, you fight harder.
    Throughout both novels, the characters demonstrate basic emotions of belonging and of safety that each reader is able to connect with. Rowling and Collins both demonstrate that it is easy to destroy a home and the safety that you can feel in that home, but they also demonstrate that the damage can be repaired, and safety returned, if you persist, or if you hope. This could be said for Harry, never having a place that he felt he belonged, until he went to Hogwarts. “While you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts.” (p85) This feeling of belonging drives everybody to feel safe and secure, and through Rowlings writing, many people are able to feel it in different ways.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  3. #3
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: English Lit Essays

    A story for young people is never finished – only abandoned.’ Compare the endings of any TWO (2) texts you have studied in LIT222. Do they finish the story – or only abandon it?

    Story endings vary a great deal, even in children’s literature. Picture books almost always have a definitive ending, while chapter books can be more ambiguous in their closure. The finishing lines in many books can be miss-interpreted or they can be written to confuse the reader as to what might come next, if anything does come next. Some chapter books have definitive endings, while others end vaguely, giving an impression of a continuation, generally leaving things unsaid and incomplete. This is a common occurrence in many books, as a way for the author to leave it open, as a possible re-entrance into the story should they feel it needs more or they have sequels planned.
    Endings can be complicated twists that you did not expect while reading a novel. Some novels you know will continue, due to their obvious names, such as Conspiracy 365 January, however with others, such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the meaning is unclear until you have read it. Throughout Conspiracy 365 January, plot twists are left without closure. Readers assume that they will be “tied off” at the end in order to add to a great climax, however, when it does not happen, they then begin to assume that the story isn’t truly over. “Any minute now, the oil would completely cover my mouth, then my nose…and then I’d be gone.”(p1) This closing sentence to Conspiracy 365 is that of an ambiguous one. As you do not actually read about the young man dying, it leaves the reader wondering if the protagonist did actually die after all. It is techniques like these that writers employ in order to create a possible sequel. Some may recognise that the author has intended to give the feeling of incomplete, however it may be a stretch as to say, “abandoned”.In the end, it is the writer that decides what happens, and how it happens. The author would have a plan to either continue it, or had a reason to end it the way it ended. A reader may feel the story has been “abandoned”, however each reader has the ability to interpret it a different way, only the author truly knows what happens in the end, and what he or she has planned. Upon that reasoning, it is unclear whether or not to dub a story abandoned or complete.
    Meanwhile, it is possible that authors create truly profound and meaningful endings in order to teach a lesson. Throughout The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the author guides the reader through the trials and torture over recovering from a lost love, In this case, from family and not having a true sense of belonging. Due to this pain the reader can connect with the characters. Through this connection, they feel they are a part of the story. Through the story, Brian Selznick adds to the imagined life of this child. The reader’s view as the child grows and learns what it means to be alone. Hugo had to learn how to survive by himself and realising that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As this story develops, it is obvious to see that it follows a strict timeline of the little boy, growing and developing into a man. The author walks the reader through the many lessons he learns as a child, until he puts those lessons into action. Due to it being on a timeline, it is obvious that it has to end, and end it does. In the final pages, Selznick writes about a deep and more profound lesson learnt by Hugo, as he has developed into a man. “Once upon a time, I was a boy named Hugo Cabret, and I desperately believed that a broken automaton would save my life. Now that my cocoon has fallen away and I have emerged as a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas, I can look back and see that I was right”. The entire novel was set to end at a point where Hugo was a grown man. And that the whole story was written by Hugo. In this sense, it is clear the novel is completed, and not abandoned, as he was telling the life of the little boy he was, and the man he had become. A story such as this always provides a definitive ending, due to the subject matter coming to a close. “The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce one hundred and fifty-eight different pictures, and it can write, letter by letter, an entire book, twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. These words.” These closing words marks an end to his childhood and depicts him entirely as an adult, the purpose of the novel completed, and to ensure no misunderstanding, Selznick also deems it appropriate to end it with a resounding “The End”.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: English Lit Essays - VERY LONG

    Why don't you post essays that you got at least a Distinction for? That might be of some use for others. This isn't good writing.
    "the differences between Harry Potter and the Philosophers(Sorcerers) Stone" and what?

  5. #5
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: English Lit Essays - VERY LONG

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Why don't you post essays that you got at least a Distinction for? That might be of some use for others. This isn't good writing.
    "the differences between Harry Potter and the Philosophers(Sorcerers) Stone" and what?

    Sorry, I got a little a head of myself.

    I added one of my short stories to that section (It got a high credit). My second story I can't upload yet because it's still awaiting review for publication (Under their T&C I'm not allowed to distribute it until they've decided). I got a distinction on it. And all other work I've completed either has specific children oriented details (case studies) or are 30+ page work book/guide type assignments. Really only the work I can share are these somewhat lacking essays :(
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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    Default Re: English Lit Essays - VERY LONG

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Sorry, I got a little a head of myself.

    I added one of my short stories to that section (It got a high credit). My second story I can't upload yet because it's still awaiting review for publication (Under their T&C I'm not allowed to distribute it until they've decided). I got a distinction on it. And all other work I've completed either has specific children oriented details (case studies) or are 30+ page work book/guide type assignments. Really only the work I can share are these somewhat lacking essays :(
    Ah. Are you studying to be a primary teacher?

  7. #7
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: English Lit Essays - VERY LONG

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Ah. Are you studying to be a primary teacher?

    Primary and high school.

    The majority of my work consists of less creative things, and switching back and forth between different types of writing is proving difficult for me, because I'm generally a more creative writer. But when I had to shift to academic reports/essays/guides, the work suffered.

    If I can clean up my case studies from any personal/identifying information, I'll provide it, because I got the 3rd highest mark in my class with that assignment. I achieved 45/50
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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