Great Expectations Film Analysis: How does the Movie Compare to the Text?

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SWBAT analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment by comparing the director's decisions with Dickens' decisions.

Big Idea

Actively watching the film can encourage students to think about the novel in new ways.

Getting Started

2 minutes

This is our second session of the day. They worked hard this morning making edits to the final essay for Great Expectations and I promised the students that we would switch gears and compare the film to the text this afternoon. The third and last episode of the BBC version is 58 minutes long, so I told students to come in, ready to watch, compare, and analyze.

Comparing the Film to the Text

55 minutes

 The director of this version of Great Expectations takes a few liberties with the original plot. For instance, in this last episode, Orlick and Compeyson are in cahoots to undo Pip, which does not happen in the novel; the two villains never meet. These types of changes do not bother me; in fact, I have been happily surprised by the discussions we have had about the director's decisions. 

I did not make a worksheet for this last episode as I have done in other film analysis lessons that target the RI.9-10.7 standard. Instead the students will have more autonomy in their analysis and will maintain a list of the differences between the novel and the movie as they watch (RL.9-10.7). Here are a few examples: Example 1, and Example 2.

What did students think of the movie? Listen to this student's response.

Wrapping Up

2 minutes

For homework, students are working on their stories. They have been writing narratives on Friday afternoons, but because of snow days and schedule changes, we have missed a few. We will be finishing and sharing the stories at the end of this week, so this is their last chance to work on them.