A triumphant adaptation – a comparative analysis of Normal People and how the series surpasses the novel, Lenir Lacerda da Costa

Normal People, Sally Rooney’s second novel, was published in 2018 and adapted into a 12-episode TV miniseries in 2020. It tells the story of Connell and Marianne’s relationship, diving deep into their connection and navigating how the characters grow and their dynamic changes over the years. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald, Normal People, the series, is one of the rare cases where an adapted work is superior to the source material. This study consists of a comparative analysis between the book and the show, commenting, firstly, on the structure, style, and format of the works, how the dialogue was adapted from one to the other, and how Normal People is, inherently, a 21st century novel of manners. This is followed by an interpretation of the most relevant mise-en-scène elements of the series. More specifically, it focuses on the importance of the choice of actors and camera work (framing and depth of focus) to the adaptation’s success, and how those components reveal the subtleties of Connell and Marianne’s relationship and the richness of their inner lives. Finally, the last scene is scrutinized, as this was the most extensively rewritten scene in the adaptation, and the alterations made to it play a significant role regarding why the series surpasses the novel.

Jane Eyre, the skeptic Penny Dreadful: Charlotte Brontë’s Realistic incorporation of the Gothic Tradition, Carolina do Nascimento de Sousa

How can a novel be analyzed and studied when removed from its historical and literary context? This essay aims to demonstrate that the key to complete and utter understanding of even the most concealed aspects of a literary piece is indeed to look at it from a contextualized perspective. As is the case with some specific features of Jane Eyre (1847), oftentimes authors can stray from their era’s conventions. However, in the instance of Charlotte Brontë, most of the novel is aligned with what is expected from Victorian Literature in the nineteenth century, from the feminist narrative to religious plurality. Nevertheless it is a staple for harboring genres such as Realism and elements from Gothic Fiction.

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