ENG 2400 Films from Literature, Fall 2020

Professor Scanlan's OpenLab Course Site

Homework and Information for Thursday, December 10


Hi Class,

Thanks for the nice comments at the end of class.


**Please fill out the SET form for my class (SET = student evaluation of teaching). Each student has been sent an email explaining how to fill it out. This helps the college and me.



December 3

– Finish Life of Pi and Q/A

– After class I will post Quiz 3 with extra credit‚ÄĒboth will due next Thursday by midnight.


December 10

– No Class (Uniform Finals)

– I will have office hours both Monday and Thursday (see sidebar for times, links)

– Due: Quiz 3 with extra credit (by midnight)

– I will post the Final Exam by 5pm (Similar to Quiz 2 with a movie still and short answer questions‚ÄĒmy goal is to reinforce our key concepts, not cause pain)


December 17

– No Class

– I will have office hours both Monday and Thursday

– Deadline for both final exam and final essay is midnight 12/17.



Quiz 3 with extra credit:

DIRECTIONS: Please copy and paste the quiz question and extra credit prompt into the body of an email. Type your answer in the email and then send to me. Don’t post to OpenLab. [Before emailing them to me, make sure and put them through a spell/grammar checker]

Quiz 3 (30 points):

After the Tsimtsum sinks, Pi struggles for survival against seemingly impossible odds. Pi is stranded on a small lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific for 227 days, with an adult Bengal tiger for company. Therefore, his ordeal involves not just avoiding starvation but also protecting himself from the sun, sharks, constant wetness, dehydration, storms, and of course, from Richard Parker. Pi is soon forced to give up his lifelong pacifism and vegetarianism as he has to kill and eat fish and turtles‚ÄĒeven a bird (masked booby). Provide three brief examples of how Pi follows (perhaps temporarily) each of the three normative ethics during his ordeal. What I‚Äôm asking students to do is to briefly describe a scene where Pi follows a strict set of rules (deontology), where Pi decides to act based on the type of person he wants to be (virtue ethics), and where Pi focusses on the ends, not the means. Please refer to the handout on Five Types of Ethics. (Answer length: approximately 100-150 words; please proofread and spell/grammar check your answer)

Extra Credit Question (10 points):

What are the most meaningful concepts or ideas that you have learned this semester?  (Approximately 100 words; please proofread and spell/grammar check your answer)

DUE DECEMBER 10 AT MIDNIGHT (or anytime before that)



Email any questions.


Best wishes,

Prof. Scanlan

No Class on Thursday, Nov 26; Homework for Dec 3

Hi Class,

For Homework on December 3,

Please finish reading the novel and consider these larger questions:

1–Does Pi have differing levels of empathy for the different animals on the lifeboat?

2–Why does Richard Parker not kill Pi?

3–Name at least three things that Pi does to help him survive his ordeal on the lifeboat.

4–Pi tells the two Japanese men two stories. Which one do you believe?

Enjoy the Thanksgiving break.


Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Thursday, Nov 19

Hi Class,

Good work on Othello. Thanks for all your contributions to the discussion.

For next Thursday:

1–Review the Ethics handout as I will begin the class with these ideas (see Readings)

2–Consider the ethical decisions at the end of Othello.

-What motivates Othello to kill Desdemona? To protect his prestige or to punish? Other considerations?

-What does Emilia gain/lose as she challenges her husband?

-Lodovico tell Cassio that he can decide the fate of “this hellish villain.” What should be done with Iago?

3–Read up to page 53 (chapter 35) in Life of Pi by Yann Martel (In Readings). Make sure to take notes. What are the ethical questions surrounding zoos? What about the ethics of Pi changing religions?


Prof. Scanlan


Homework for Thursday, Nov 12

Hi Class,

Thank you for adding your voices to the conversation via the chat and by speaking up.


1–I’ve updated the “Five Types of Ethics” handout in Readings. Please read this over carefully–we will discuss it next week.

2–Finish reading the text of Shakespeare’s Othello:

3–Answer these questions from Acts 4 and 5 in your notebook. I will call on you to answer them in class.

a–How did Iago trick Othello into thinking Cassio was gloating and bragging about his affair with Desdemona?

b–Why was Bianca angry with Cassio?

c–How did Bianca’s return with the handkerchief help Iago?

d–Why did Othello ask Emilia about Cassio’s affair with Desdemona, and what was her reply?

e–To whom does Desdemona turn for help after Othello calls her a strumpet?

f–Why did Iago tell Rodriego to kill Cassio? Why did Roderigo consent to think about it?

g–How would Iago gain from Roderigo’s death? Cassio’s?

h–What happened when Cassio and Roderigo fought?

i–What did Iago do after he wounded Cassio?

j–How was Desdemona faithful to Othello to the end?

k–What was Emilia’s reaction when Othello told her that Iago had revealed Desdemona’s affair with Cassio to him?

l–Who told the truth about Iago?

m–What happened to Othello, Iago and Cassio in the end?


These study questions will help you ace the quiz next week!


Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Thursday, Nov 5

Hi Class,

Thanks for all the volunteers who helped to read and answer questions. This sort of lively class is my goal. So, the more you speak, the higher your participation grade–yes, you can actually get over a 100% on participation!

For next week:

1–Read Acts 1-4 in Othello. Pay particular attention to Iago’s plans and each instance of trust or breach of trust.

2–Read Linda Cahir on Plays into Films.

3–Define trust and virtue in your notes.


See you next week,


Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Thursday, October 29

Hi Class,

Great discussion today. I hope we all learned something. I know I did (Grimoire: A book of spells or incantations).


1–First and foremost, please work diligently on your Midterm Essay. I will provide brief comments by Friday (10/23) at 5pm. So, please post your drafts before then. Final Draft is due next Thursday, before class.


2–I’ve posted a handout that should be helpful to your efforts to revise and improve the essay: it is the Paragraphs–College Sentence–Quotes handout in the Readings menu tab.


3–Two concepts: Justice and Foregiveness

Justice:   (from Wiktionary)


  1. The state or characteristic of being just or fair.
    the justice of a description
  2. The ideal of fairness, impartiality, etc., especially with regard to the punishment of wrongdoing.
    Justice was served.
  3. Judgment and punishment of a party who has allegedly wronged another.
    to demand justice

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a long and wonderful article on Justice:


I think it is important that a call for Justice arises after a real or perceived wrongdoing; it involves what we owe each other and the idea of rightness. Ways to study justice include, but are not limited to: distributive justice, global justice, intergenerational justice, international distributive justice, justice and bad luck, justice as a virtue, and retributive justice.



Wiktionary on the verb to forgive: To pardon; to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment, retribution, or compensation

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is more helpful:

To forgive is to respond in a particular way to someone who has treated someone badly or wrongly. Forgiveness is therefore a dyadic relation involving a wrongdoer and a wronged party, and is thought to be a way in which victims of wrongdoing alter both their and a wrongdoer‚Äôs status by, for instance, acknowledging yet moving past a moral transgression. Commonly, forgiveness is thought to involve the giving up of certain negative emotions towards the wrongdoer, the forbearance of negative reactions against the wrongdoer, and possibly the restoration of the relationship with the wrongdoer. Much philosophical discussion of forgiveness centers on three primary questions: (1) What is the nature of forgiveness‚ÄĒwhat must one do in order to forgive; (2) Who has standing to forgive‚ÄĒwhen is one in a position to forgive a wrongdoer; and (3) What are the norms governing forgiveness‚ÄĒwhen is forgiveness morally good, right, or praiseworthy?



4–Read the Othello Study Guide in Readings. Then read Act I, Scenes i and ii.


Email any questions.


Prof. Scanlan

Notes on Concepts and Homework for October 22

Hi Class,



TO POST YOUR DRAFT: It is a  similar process to what you did for the Coffeehouse posts: you write a post and then select the sub-category: First Draft Midterm Essay. Simply paste your essay into the post field, select that category and you should be good to go.


Thanks for the lively and engaged discussion. I think our three concepts (Sacrifice, Redemption, Revenge) will prove helpful for examining our stories and films. That said, I’m going to bring a couple more concepts for next week.

The homework assignment is at the bottom of this post.


Basic college level thesis:

While X, I think Y.

For Example:

THESIS: While the plot of the film version of ‚ÄúAn Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge‚ÄĚ is similar to Ambrose Bierce‚Äôs text version, the use of non-diegetic music and the lack of any voices make this translation radical, according to Linda Cahir‚Äôs definition.

METHOD:  In order to prove this, I will first compare the dialogue between Peyton Farquar and the Union solder and the sign that is displayed in the beginning of the film. Second, I will explore the music that matches the interior emotions of Peyton. Lastly, I will discuss what the film loses and gains by leaving out dialogue and voice over narration.

Note: A method statement is usually numbered and reveals a small number of points. [2-5]



Remember: The foundation of each of these terms is an exchange. Always ask what the nature of exchange is; what is given and what is gained?

Remember: Motivation is very important to all three terms. What is the motivating action or event or thought that leads a character to sacrifice, seek redemption, or seek revenge?



sacrifice (third-person singular simple present sacrifices, present participle sacrificing, simple past and past participle sacrificed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To offer(something) as a gift to a deity.
  2. (transitive)¬†To give away (something¬†valuable) to get at least a possibility of gaining something else of value (such as self-respect, trust, love, freedom, prosperity), or to avoid an even greater loss.¬†quotations¬†‚Ėľ

Venison has many advantages over meat from factory farms, although it still requires a hunter to sacrifice the life of a deer.

  1. (transitive)¬†To trade (a value of higher worth) for something of lesser worth in order to gain something else valued more, such as an ally or business relationship, or to avoid an even greater loss; to sell without profit to gain something other than money.¬†quotations¬†‚Ėľ
  2. (transitive,chess) To intentionally give up (a piece) in order to improve one’s position on the board.
  3. (transitive,baseball) To advance (a runner on base) by batting the ball so it can be caught or fielded, placing the batter out, but with insufficient time to put the runner out.
  4. (dated,tradesmen’s¬†slang)¬†To sell at a price less than the cost or actual value.
  5. To destroy; to kill.




redemption (countable and uncountable, plural redemptions)

  1. The act of redeeming or something redeemed.
  2. The recovery, for a fee, of a pawned article.
  3. Salvation from sin.
  4. Rescue upon payment of a ransom.


redeem (third-person singular simple present redeems, present participle redeeming, simple past and past participle redeemed)

  1. (transitive) To recover ownership of something by buying it back.
  2. (transitive) To liberate by payment of a ransom.
  3. (transitive)¬†To¬†set free¬†by force.¬†quotations¬†‚Ėľ
  4. (transitive) To save, rescue
  5. (transitive) To clear, release from debt or blame
  6. (transitive) To expiate, atone (for)
  7. (transitive, finance) To convert (some bond or security) into cash
  8. (transitive) To save from a state of sin (and from its consequences).
  9. (transitive) To repair, restore
  10. (transitive) To reform, change (for the better)
  11. (transitive) To restore the honour, worth, or reputation of oneself or something.
  12. (transitive, archaic) To reclaim

Questions to ask: Who is doing the redeeming? Who has the power to redeem and who is blocked from redeeming others. Is someone blocked from seeking redemption. Can a person redeem themselves or does redemption come from the outside?




revenge (usually uncountable, plural revenges)

  1. Any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some alleged or perceived harm or injustice.
    Synonyms: payback, wreak; see also Thesaurus:revenge
    Indifference is the sweetest revenge.
    When I left my wife, she tried to set fire to the house in revenge.

2. A win by a previous loser.




1–Finish reading the novel.

2–Write the first draft of the Midterm Essay and post it the menu tab: Midterm Essay —> First Draft. It should be at least 300 words. More directions can be found on the First Draft dropdown. The assignment details are posted on the Assignments menu tab.

Email any questions.


Prof. Scanlan



Homework for Oct 15

Hi Class,

Glad that everybody was “enthusiastic” about the Like Water for Chocolate movie!


1–Quiz 2 answer length: 150 words for each question–that’s a good goal.

2–Read to the end the August chapter. And please come prepared with either a question or a comment. We will again go around the room.


Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Thursday, Oct 8

Hi Class,

Thank you for the good comments and questions throughout the class. I’m glad you enjoyed the film and glad we had time to rewatch the final 10 minutes.

1–Terms: last week we studied: Focal Point/Focalizer; Diegetic sound; MacGuffin; Lighting

And this week we reviewed: Camera Movement: pan, tracking, handheld, stationary, fast/slow motion.

2–Key Questions: Here are several questions from today’s class:

–How is tension built?

–How does the music influence our understanding of the film?

–What scenes in the film exhibit the idea of synchronicity?

–How does camera movement affect our understanding of the film?

–What is the role of humor in the film version?

–what brings Jefferies and Lisa together?

–Sam is split into two characters: Stella and Lisa. Is this more believable? Or less?

–What are the major symbols in the text and in the film?

–What kind of translation is this?

–Is Lisa the hero of the movie?



Read to page 81 (up to chapter 5) in Like Water for Chocolate. Bring to class at least one question. Be prepared to discuss the 5-part film tool.

During class, I will give you Quiz 2 which will be over Rear Window and the film terms we have been studying. The quiz will be due on Friday by 5pm.



Prof. Scanlan



Homework for Oct.1

Hi Class,

Sorry about the technology glitch. Thanks for being patient. I’ll be ready with the new settings on October 1. Also, I like the chat function. Hope to have more side conversations next week.

We are up to minute 48, so I will start the movie right away on Thursday…please be on time! Once the movie is over, we will have time to discuss the translation issues.

Homework: review the text as needed–especially important in Woolrich’s story are: Jefferies’ idea of delayed action and synchronicity. Then write Coffeehouse post #3: 300 words in which you describe two major and two minor differences between the written story and the film (up to where we are). Since there are so many differences, this will not be hard. The point is to distinguish between the important and not-important differences.


Prof. Scanlan

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