This essay is for the book and movie version of “Maze Runner” � PLEASE DO NOT PLAGIARIZE.
ENG 366 Essay Assignment
For this assignment, you will write a four-to-six page (must at least come as close to the bottom of the fourth page as you can get it�can be longer than four pages but
no longer than eight), double-spaced response to the novel you read and the film you watched, as assigned to you. I want to see some discussion of literature into film
in your essay, and this means it cannot merely be a summary or a straight comparison of the book and the film. I suggest you pay close attention to chapter VII in our
Literature into Film text.
Focus on the aspects of Literature into Film (the name of the course)�meaning, how the text translates to film: the difficulties, the problems, the successes, the
failures (and why they were successes or failures), etc. This means you must refer to the actual text itself as well and not just to the film. You will want to refer
to chapter 7 (VII) in Literature Into Film (LIF) both while preparing to write and actually writing your essay. You must make at least one reference to or paraphrase
from (but avoid quoting from) what you learned in the LIF text.
Once you have completed your Essay and have saved it in Word (or whatever program you use, saved as an .rtf file or .doc/.docx file), post your essay file under the
Safe Assignment link corresponding to your assigned text and located under the Assignments link on BlackBoard. See the Course Calendar for due dates.
The questions below are great to use as jumping off points for thinking about this assignment. I recommend having the questions and a pen with you when watching the
film. Do not write about one of the items below�they are merely meant to give you an idea of some places you can start, if needed.
Questions to Consider About the Films
1. Identify the theme of the movie. In what ways was the theme revealed in the story structure, characterization, and visual imagery of the film??
2. In what way is the theme relevant to the audience for which the film was intended? Is the message realistic or idealistic? Did the theme have a twist that gave it
an unusual energy? Specifically, how was that brought out??
3. How did the theme of the film compare to what you felt was the theme of the novel? Did you feel the theme was the same or similar? How did the theme differ??
4. Was the introduction of the characters, setting, and time frame especially effective? Exactly how did the director choose to tell the audience the back story in the
first few scenes of the film? Was this setup both credible and strong enough to carry us into the rest of the story??
5. The production design of a film establishes its look. Did this production design illuminate the intention of the film? In what way do the sets establish the style
of the film? What does the interior design of the protagonist�s living arrangement say about the person??
6. Color helps create mood. What basic color patterns were chosen for the film? What effect do the color choices have on our attitude toward the subject of key
7. The location of the camera gives us our physical relationship to the subject. Choose an important scene and describe the camera placement and movement. Were the
choices made by the director and cinematographer effective??
8. Although the work of an editor is elusive, are there scenes in the film in which good editing clearly helped achieve its intended impact? Describe the scene shot by
shot, explaining the particular effect of the editor�s choices.?
9. Was the ending of the film a logical conclusion to the story, given the motivations of the characters and their situation? Did the ending feel manipulated in a way
that diminished the film experience? Explain your sense of this.?
10. Did the movie achieve what it set out to do? Define its intentions as closely as you can, and explain the particular ways by which the director and producers
realized their goal.
From the professor: “Here is a sample Essay Assignment to help you see what I am expecting from you. This is by a former student, Emily Brems, and is a great example
of the type of paper I am looking for. They only had one film to watch per novel, however, while you have two films for your first story and paper. See the Essay
Assignment instructions for details. Here is her paper:
Alone for Now but Not Forever
As the longest novel in the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix conveys a great deal of information. David Yates, director of the film
translation of the novel, boldly undertakes the daunting task of condensing the storyline, 870 pages in the novel, down into a mere 138 minutes. In doing so, Yates
employs a variety of methods to transmit information in the most efficient manner possible. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges is in conveying Harry�s sense of
isolation. Yates is effective in subtly showing the audience Harry�s isolation through camera angle, position of the physical characters, and through lines spoken.
The opening chapter of the novel introduces the reader to Harry�s sense of loneliness and isolation. Harry tells the Dursleys, somewhat reluctantly, that, �The
owls�aren�t bringing me news� (Rowling 6). Furthermore, Harry, although he receives letters from Ron and Hermione, does not feel they have anything worthwhile in them.
��there would also be owls carrying letters from his best friends�though any expectation he had that their letters would bring him news had long since been dashed�
(Rowling 8). Yates takes this attitude and frustration and transports it to the screen. The opening scene is one in which the camera shows a long shot of Harry walking
up a hill. The feeling emitted from this scene is that of loneliness, of great sadness, and perhaps of abandonment. Shortly after, the audience is subjected to a scene
wherein a couple of children and a mother are together on the merry-go-round at the playground where Harry sits on a swing. Again, by positioning Harry on a swing and
adding a family to the playground, the scene exhibits a sense of being outside of the family � someone looking in upon their happiness but not partaking in it. As soon
as Harry arrives home with Dudley after their encounter with the dementors, the camera produces a long shot from approximately 25 feet away of the Dursleys huddled all
together in the corner as a family while Harry watches from across the room, alone and an outsider again (Cahir 64).
Yates also is very conscious about where he positions the characters in order to continue to express Harry�s sense of isolation. When Harry meets up with Ron and
Hermione at Grimmauld Place, following their salutations, Yates moves Harry around the bed to the other side. This positions the bed as a barrier between Harry and his
two best friends, helping the audience to experience Harry�s feelings as described in the novel: �The warm glow that had flared inside him at the sight of his two best
friends was extinguished as something icy flooded the pit of his stomach. All of a sudden�he felt he would rather Ron and Hermione left him alone (Rowling 63).
Additionally, following the train ride to Hogwarts, Harry gets into a bit of a fight with Malfoy that Ron breaks up. Rather than show his appreciation and walk with
Ron and Hermione, Harry breaks away. The camera uses an angled medium shot to show Harry storming away from his friends (Cahir. As the camera follows Harry, Ron and
Hermione shrink into the background, making them seem distant and even diminished.
Harry�s sense of isolation, purposeful or not, is amplified when he receives detention from Umbridge. After painfully writing his lines on his paper and in his hand, he
chooses not to share the full weight of his punishment with his two best friends. The novel tells us, �He also felt dimly that this was between himself and Umbridge��
(Rowling 269). The film version has Ron and Hermione quickly discovering the etching in Harry�s hand and pleading with him to report it to Dumbledore to which Harry
replies that they would not understand. This serves to show the audience how Harry is distancing himself not only from his two friends but from Dumbledore as well.
Ultimately, Harry�s savior comes in the form of the D.A., Dumbledore�s Army. In the novel Harry, ��felt as though he were carrying some kind of talisman inside his
chest�, a glowing secret that supported him�� (Rowling 397). Indeed the D.A. becomes a sort of life-line for Harry�s happiness. �If it had not been for the D.A. lessons,
Harry thought he would have been extremely unhappy� and he was ��working hard but thoroughly enjoying himself at the same time, swelling with pride as he looked around
at his fellow D.A. members and saw how far they had come� (Rowling 606). Yates creates a visual of this as the audience sees Harry smile for the first time during a
D.A. lesson. Additionally, a united front is presented as Harry is repeatedly thanked and wished a Merry Christmas as his students leave. Harry interacts with his
friends, smiles at them, and has connected emotionally with them. Finally, the audience sees a bit of happiness within Harry that has been sorely lacking during the
first half of the novel and the movie.
Yates also adds lines to exhibit Harry�s friend�s attempts to let him know that they care about him. Hermione, at Umbridge�s fireplace, reminds Harry that they ��are in
this together� (Harry). Additionally, Ron tells Harry on their way to the Hog�s Head meeting that he is ��here for you, mate� (Harry). These small lines help the
audience to feel his friends attempts to reconnect with Harry and to let him know that even though he may feel alone his friends support him. Indeed, in direct
contrast to the opening shot, the penultimate shot is of Harry walking to the Hogwart�s Express with Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Ginny behind him as a visual of
their support of him. Even though Harry was alone at the beginning of the film, by the end he is no longer by himself.
Portraying such a sense of despair and desolation as well as isolation is no small task. Yates accomplishes this effectively as well as subtly, manipulating the
audience into feeling this same sense of isolation. The audience of the film should remember that Yates is not necessarily literally translating this film but that he
is communicating his ideas about the film (Cahir 100). Yates does this successfully in regards to Harry�s sense of solitude through his use of placement, language, and
Cahir, Linda Costanzo. Literature Into Film: Theory and Practical Approaches. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc, 2006. Print.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Dir. David Yates. Perf. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson. Warner Bros., 2007. DVD.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, 2003. Print.”