Presented By Niwat Siwawuth 550132007Passamon Kamnertsiri 550132010 Submitted by Dr. Wilailak Saraithong Literature in the Media 001773
Great expectations (1998)Plot and Setting Plot and setting of Great expectations is a contemporary film version, very different fromthe novel by Charles Dickens, as the setting has been moved from mid-nineteenth century inKent and London to 1990‟s Florida and New York City. Due to the limited time in the film(nearly 2 hours), some original characters are deleted, such as Biddy( Pip‟s friend) , HerbertPocket( Pip‟s best friend), Compeyson (criminal and Miss Havisham „s fiance) and Molly ( Estella‟s mother) because these characters are not much related to the main theme ofromantic drama in the film. Also, some characters‟ names are changed from the novel: Thenarrater‟s name Pip becomes Finn and Miss Havisham has been renamed to Nora Dismoor.The convict, Abel Magwitch is Arther Lustig and Mrs. Joe becomes Maggie. At the beginning, the setting takes place nearby the beach in Florida, seeing Finn isdrawing pictures while in the novel version, Pip sits in the isolated village church yard,staring at his parents‟ tombstones in Kent, southeast of England. The different plot between the film and the novel is the scene when Finn goes back to thehouse to get some food and things to help the convict. In the novel, Pip steals pork pie fromMrs. Joe and gives to the convict which makes Pip feels guilty when he returns home. In this film version, Finn gives the convict a piece of sandwich, bolt cutters, a bottle ofwhisky, Percodan and birth control pills (to make the scene amusing) but not the pork pie.The Christmas pork pie in the novel version is not suitable in the film because due to thenineteenth century, in England, many people especially in rural areas were in poverty andshortage of food even pork pie was very valuable for poor people but the film is set in themodern time in America, people do not have such scarcity anymore so Finn does not have toface the problem of stealing things to the convict. Therefore the plot which people join in the
table in Christmas is deleted from the film and the police do not come in the Finn‟s house.But to make it more contemporary, instead Finn sees the convict is arrested in the TV, whichon the news, allows Finn to be informed that the convict will be put in the execution for hissentence and that makes Finn thinks that is a last time for him to see the convict. In the film version, Finn follows the convict on the boat and helps him to escape from thepolice while in the original one, Pip went home immediately before the police reach Pip‟shouse. In the film version, Finn and the convict spent more time together and the convict feelmore indebted to Finn that he has helped him twice. First, Finn gave food and unchained him.Later, Finn helped him escapes from the police and secretly gives convict a life jacket beforeFinn has gone with the police. The first time, Finn helped the convict because he was forcedto do, but in the second time, Finn really wanted to help the convict. This version is boundthe convict and Finn in term of relationship stronger than the novel. The wild story in which Estella feeds Pip by placing food on the ground as if he was a dogand the plot that Estella slaps his face has been deleted in this version. Instead, it isreinterpreted in the erotic way. A young Estella persuades Finn to drink water from thefountain and when Finn is drinking Estella immediately gives Finn French kiss. This scene sopowerful and very shocking to the audiences how such a little girl learn to seduce and lure aboy in extremely erotic way. It shows that Estella has been raised in extremely unusual wayfrom Nora who wants to train Estella becomes a weapon for her revenge and Finn a victim. The scene when Estella and Finn have conversation in the taxi is another important one.This plot has changed in the way that Estella tells Finn that she is raised in the bad way toFinn while in the original one she said to Miss Havisham. The director wants to focus on thetheme of romantic, so it is must be effective in this way if Estella shows her sensitive feelingto Finn but not to Nora. In this scene, audiences are allowed to see Estella in the emotionaland very sensitive way which does not happen in the novel version. It helps the audiencesfeel sympathy to Estella that the reason she become a cold hearted girl because she was raisedto fear of love and she has never receive any love even from Nora.
Great expectations in the film version has several erotic scenes which not occur in thenovel such as the scene that Estella being nude for Finn, French kiss in fountain, fondlescene in Finn‟s room. The most romantic scene is when Finn walks through the rain to aChinese restaurant and asks Estella for a dance in front of her fiancé, they dance for a fewseconds and go out from the restaurant, kiss, run through the rain and goes to Finn place andmakes love. It is very powerful scene shows Finn‟s emotional feeling toward Estella becausethis must be the last time for Finn to win Estella‟s heart. The scene shows how Finn put a lotafford and daring to take Estella out and this is the first time that Estella allows Finn todominate her and make love. In the novel, Miss Havicham died from burning the fireplace. The film version, Nora diedalone in her mansion with agony of guilt that she used Estella and Finn for her revenge. Herbody is undiscovered for a month. Both version, show the different ways the life ended ofNora and Miss Havicham, one through the pain of fire and another one in the guilt andloneliness. In film version, the convict was killed by a gangster in the subway. The novel, the convictis arrested by the police while fighting on the boats and he died later in the jail after the courtsentenced him to be executed. Even though two different ways of his dead but they are join inthe main point that he believe the death to be the reward of God‟s forgiveness and the sunrisein the morning when he died is the sign of his redemption in death. He had no fear to die andit made him so happy when he saw Finn (Pip) in the good life and died in his arms. At the end of the story, Finn decides to go back to Paradiso Perduto to recall his memoryand found Estella standing by the lake and her little daughter. Estella is very surprised to seeFinn again. Estella says that she has changed now and thinking about Finn so much. Estellaasks Finn to forgive her and Finn accepts. They look out to the sun together. The end of bothversions is quite different as the film version, the time setting is on the day time whereas theoriginal version is set on the night time and Estella has no children. In the film version, canbe interpreted that now Estella is free from Nora and she not afraid to the daylight anymore,
another word, she now ready for love. Estella has a daughter who is the key point that helpsEstella learns to give love and to be a good mother.CharacterizationFinnegan “Finn” Bell (pip) Finn‟s character is complicated: Obsession, desire, greed, guilt, ambition, dreamer, goodand evil. On the bright side, he is very generous and sympathetic especially when he wasyoung. On his dark side, he is deeply suffers from his inferior status. His naïve and dreamyattitude let him believe that Nora is his secret benefactor and wants him to be equal as Estellaand get married with her even knowing Nora repeatedly warning him that Estella will breakhim heart cruelly but Finn chooses to ignore. Finn‟s life depends on others. Finn is controlled by Nora to be used as a victim for Estellato break his heart who as well empowered him. He is transported anonymously by the convicttaking Finn to New York to become a famous artist as the convict wants to redeem his ownfeeling to his inferior status by supporting Finn. Finn has self-improvement and he is a quick learner. When Finn lives in New York andbecomes a famous artist, he starts to learn how to act and behave like a famous artist. Helearns to take all opportunity that offered to him. Finn realizes that while he become a famousartist and has accepted by upper class, is not make him true hapiness. It does not meananything for him because he did not receive the love from Estella. Finn learns that money andfame is illusion that all set-up by the convict. At the end, he has learned these lessons, hegoes back to visit Joe which represent his origin and become the Finn narrator whose voicetells the whole story.Estella Havisham In the novel, Estella is adopted Noras daughter. Also she is unknown as the convict‟sdaughter and Molly who is Mr. Jagger lawer maid. It is an ironic metaphor that Estella who is
so proud and snobbish is lower status than Pip, in fact, very lowest level of society. In thefilm version, there is very little of Estella‟s background, only informed that she is adoptedNora‟s daughter. The issue of social class about Estella is minimized into the film version tomaintain the major theme of romantic theme. Despite her cold behavior, Estella is still a sympathetic character. In the film, her innerstruggle feeling is shown which helps to explain what Finn loves about her. Deep in hermind, Estella does not want to hurt Finn, but she does not seem able to stop herself fromhurting Finn. In fact, she has repeatedly warned him that she has “no heart” but Finn chosenot to listen. Estella has self- knowledge and aware about how she behaves the way she is. She tellsFinn that Nora is responsible for her attitude to making her cruel and has no emotion in heart.The relationship between Estella and Nora is estranged because she has never been taught togive or received love from anyone even from Nora. As a result, Estella treats to Nora as coldas she has been taught in the way she is. Finally, Estella has learned to believe her inner feeling and asked Finn to forgive her.Estella turns from cold and snobbish to be mature and ready to be a good woman. In thisfilms, Estella has a little daughter as it is an important for Estella to redeem herself and it awake-up-call to her that if she still the way that used to be, it will effect to the daughter tobecome like her, so she has to transform to be a good mother who learn to give love for herdaughter.Nora Dinsmoor (Miss Havisham)The character of Nora Dinmoor in film is slightly different from the novel. She does not wearthe wedding dress every day as does Miss Havisham. The director changes the way of herinsanity by her acting and her facial make-up. Nora is determined never to move beyond herheartbreak, time stops, the wedding party and mansion abandoned, frozen in time. Nora adopts Estella and raises her as a weapon, to achieve her own revenge on men. She isan example of single-minded struggle on holding her grudge. At first, Nora is completelyunaware the result that effects Finn and Estella. Later, she learns that her revenge is failed
and it comes back to hurt her when she causes Finn‟s heart to be broken. Nora isoverwhelmed of sadness and guilt because Finn represents of her the past that is loyal andhonest for love. Finn‟s heart is broken is in the same way that Nora had before. At the end,Nora lives and dies alone in the rotten mansion.Arther Lustig “the convict” (Abel Magwitch ) Lustig‟s character is represented as another father figure for Finn. They have many thingsin common. They are both orphans and they share feeling the bond of powerlessness andvictimization. The character of the convict, named Lustig in the film is slightly different from Magwitchin the novel. Magwitch‟s generosity to Pip is great, but is not perfect and not done just forPip‟s benefit. Actually, Magwitch wants revenge on society and uses Pip to do it. He wants tocreate a wonderful gentleman to show society and wants to feel proud of what he achieved.Lustig in the film version is a criminal who has done many bad things in his life and wants toredeem himself by support Finn to be success in his art career and be accepted by society.Lustig feel that Finn represented the good side that he wishes to have been. Lustig wants Finnto be suceed to fulfill his felling that at least he does a really does well for a person whodeserves it like Finn. Lustig is the prime character to develop Finn‟s point of view and in time to mature. Hemakes Finn‟s dream come true and also ruins it when Finn finds out that his success is set upby him. When Lustig dies, Finn‟s dream is over and this makes Finn comes back into thereality. He comes to visit Joe who represent as Finn‟s origin life.Maggie (Mrs. Joe) She is Finn‟s sister and Joe‟s wife. The character of Maggie in the film version is quitedifferent from novel version in term that she is not as cruel as Mrs. Joe portrayed in the novel,but she still not a good sister for Finn or good wife for Joe. She neither cares nor looks afterFinn. She has an affair with another man and runs away from Finn and Joe while in the novelMrs. Joe dies.Joe Gargery
Joe is Finn brother-in-law. Joe‟s character from the novel and the film version are thesame. Joe‟s quiet goodness makes him one of the few sympathetic characters in GreatExpectations. Although he is uneducated and unrefined, he consistently acts for those heloves and suffers in silence when Finn treats him coldly.ThemesLove and victims Love is the main theme of this Great Expectations version. The other theme such as guiltand social class are minimized as minor elements. Sunlight is used as a metaphor for love (an appropriate metaphor, given Nora stay in herrotten mansion and refusal to go into the sun), Finn is represented like the sunlight trying tobring Estella out from the darkness. However, Finn‟s ideal about love is unrealistic. Whateverhe might wish, it is impossible to be succeeded in overnight but Finn personality is immature.When Finn suddenly receives his fortune, he expects that Estella will turn to love himimmediately. Finn does everything to win Estella‟s heart even put Joe aside to raise him tothe upper class.Parallel relationships Like Finn, Estella is an orphan and a victim and both are used by their surrogate parents.Nora raises Estella to be a weapon for her revenge and Lustig secretly put Finn to become afamous artist to redeem his guilt. Both share a somewhat passive approach to life that unableto follow their own free path.Social class In the novel, Great Expectations explores the class system of Victorian England fromlower class, middle class and high class people. In Great Britain in nineteen century, peoplewho with wealth and educated were identified as “ladies and gentlemen” They did not needto do work, just spending time for parties and dancing. These people made rules for correctbehavior and manners. However, most people at this time were still poor and uneducated.
They could not aspire to become ladies and gentlemen. They did not know anything about thelives of the rich people living in London. The class between lower class and upper class wasextremely divergent. The theme of social class in the film is so much different from the noveldue to the place and time setting. In America in 80/90s there was no such comparison of“gentleman”. In the film version, Finn turns to become a famous artist that is more suitableto the place setting as New York is one of the art centres in the world and it relates to the ideaof “American‟s dream” as American people want fame and wealth. The inferior of Finn‟s social class put him to improve himself to be equal to Estella.Estella repeatedly disparages Finn in his inferior status. As a child, she calls Finn a gardenerand sometimes she speaks French to Finn which he does not understand but this can beinterpreted that Finn is incompatible with her status as French language is used for upperclass and Finn has such a low education. When Finn becomes successful in his career, itenables Finn to be equal to Estella. However, it is too late he when Estella decided to getmarry with Walter who has superior status to Finn. Great expectations shows illusion of social class that makes Finn confused. For example,Finn believes that Nora intends to make him a famous artist but actually the wealthy oldwoman has no such intention in mind, only in somehow using him as a victim for Estella tobreak his heart. Ironically, instead, the convict has become the secret benefactor for Finn andit collapses Pip‟s idealistic view of wealth and social class by forcing him to realize that hissuccess is set up by the convict who has lowest status in society.Ambition and self-improvement Ambition and self-improvement take three forms in Great Expectations- moral, social, andeducational; these motivate Finn‟s best and his worst behavior throughout the film. Finn is idealist, whenever he can conceive of something is better than what he already has,he immediately desire to obtain the improvement. Finn‟s desire for self-improvement is themain theme of the title “Great Expectations. Finn learns and absorbs everything quick. When
he was in Florida he never asked anything but here in New York, he learns how to negotiateand uses mass media for his own benefit to bring him success and fame. His ambition and his fame causes him turn to give cold shoulder to Joe and put him in thepast so that he can be able invent himself to be “a new Finn”. Subconsciously, Finn does notwant Joe exist in his life. He hates himself to be poor and uneducated past like Joe. He set upthe story, telling to the journalist that Joe was a big drug smuggler, overdosed and died on thecouch and makes up his adventurous story to make his life sounds more interesting than hisreal life and good enough to be written in Art magazine. At the end Finn has learned that ambition caused him become an evil man. When hisdream is over Finn comes back to see Joe as he learns that Affection, loyalty and conscienceare more important than social advancement, wealth and class.Guilt and Innocence Despite, Finn has many admirable qualities: compassion, loyalty and conscience, heconstantly focuses on his failures and shortcomings. He has strong feelings of guilt but aninadequate ability by which to judge right from wrong; unable to determine the value of hisown actions, he feels guilty even when he does the right thing. He acts with compassion andsympathy when he helps the convict, but he nevertheless feels deeply guilty due to the factthat whom he help is a criminal. New York changes Finn becomes snobbish and selfish. When Joe comes to see Finn‟ssolo art exhibition, it shows how awkward Finn‟s position toward to Joe‟s manner that makesFinn feel humiliated in the public. Finn treats Joe coldly and that makes Joe very upset. Later,Finn feels terribly guilty for his bad treatment of Joe. As the film progresses, Finn comescloser to trusting his own feelings; when he helps the convict at the end of the film, he feelsno guilt. He simply sees that Lustig has been better to him than he himself has been to Joe.Finn comes back to visit Joe signaling that Finn has at last learned the greatest moral lesson.The difference between Finn the character and Finn the narrator becomes clear here.
Symbols and messages Perduto (Satis House) Paradiso Perduto is the name of Nora‟s Mansion meaning “lost paradise”. The mansion isthe privet world and the shelter of Nora. It is a symbol of death and degeneration thatsymbolize Nora‟s past. Nora attempts to freeze time by refusing to change anything in themansion from the wedding days for 30 years. The Mansion represents as a darkness whereNora hides from sunrise as it metaphor as love that hurt her. The symbol of the clock stopped at twenty minute to nine, the mouldy wedding cake andNora‟s wedding dress are not appear in the film in term to make the scene more realistic inthe modern version that the audiences might not believe how rotten wedding cake can beexisted and how Nora has worn wedding dress every single day for 30 years. Still, the filmkeep the symbol of the wedding table which is an enough evident to show Nora‟s sufferinglife. At the end, Paradiso Perduto has bankrupted, is symbolized the shelter that Nora hasbuilt up in term of freezing time and separated her from the real world has been collapsed andthis allowed Estella get free from the shadow of Nora.Finn’s Artworks Finn‟s art works represent his passion, memories and fantasy toward people around him.Finn is talented in his art. He has never studied in any arts school but being a self- taughtartist. Estella is the most influential to his art passion. When he knows Estella has goneabroad without saying farewell to him, Finn very upset and stops doing his art. It bring himback to the reality that his fantasy dream is over until again he has opportunity to show his artin New York and it a good chance for Finn to meet Estella again. Finn‟s passion of love canbe seen through his arts. From the below picture, is drawing that Finn fantasize himself as afish and Estella as a bird, these symbols can be seen throughout the film. He thinks Estellalike a bird because she is upper class and he is lower class. These picture shows ambition ofhis love. The picture shows the metamorphosis of fish and bird that become a boy and a girl
who kiss each other. Love is no barrier for Finn and he hopes that one day Estella will acceptand loves him.