Teaching Literary Theory Using Film Adaptations


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About the Book

This volume introduces ways to use film to ease the difficulty of introducing complex literary theories to students. By coupling works of literature with attendant films and with critical essays, the author provides instructors with accessible avenues for encouraging classroom discussion. Literary theories covered in depth are psychoanalytic criticism (The Awakening and film adaptations The End of August and Grand Isle), cultural criticism (A Streetcar Named Desire and its 1951 film version), and thematic criticism (“Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” and the film adaptation Splendor in the Grass). Other theories are used to clarify and support those referred to above. The work then includes a survey of the image patterns into which film adaptation theories can be grouped and how these theories relate to traditional literary theory.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen L. Brown is an English professor at Stevenson University near Baltimore, Maryland. She has had a life-long fascination with film adaptations and serves on the executive board of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.

Bibliographic Details

Kathleen L. Brown
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3933-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword      1

Preface      7

Introduction      9


1. Psychoanalytic Criticism      22

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The End of August (1982) and Grand Isle (1992)

2. Cultural Criticism      64

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

3. Thematic Criticism      100

“Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of

Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth

Splendor in the Grass (1961)


4. Classifying Adaptations Through Image Patterns      146

Conclusion      189

Bibliography      197

Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

“the value of this excellent book extends beyond its intended audience…the book could well be assigned to students in a variety of courses…her assessment of the state of American literacy seems spot on, and her overview of the history of adaptation theory will interest newcomers to the field. This book far outshines and is a more worthwhile read than others on the subject…highly recommended”—Choice.