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My Sister's Keeper
Transcript of My Sister's Keeper
and Focus "Last Impressions" Campbell Alexander Judge DeSalvo Narration Anna Fitzgerald Jesse Fitzgerald Kate Fitzgerald Characterization "what she’s said makes her seem unsympathetic” (Picoult 218)"
unsympathetic, cantankerous Book Book constantlychanging view points in the book
no character is fully developed into real people
easier to use characters as "pawns" in a game of ethics instead of real people
taking on Anna's case - “not [because][he is] a particularly charitable man, but rather legally, [the] case is a lock…Plus the case will generate a ton of publicity for [him] and jack up [his] pro bono for the whole damn decade” (23)
one dimensional, stereotypical character without complex emotion Book choice to end the scene on Brian leaves the audience thinking about his emotions as a father, as opposed to the legality of restraining Anna Characterization of DeSalvo and Campbell switches focus from ethics to family The choice to change audience reaction by killing the wrong sister also has a hand in changing the focus of the movie.
Picoult’s choice to kill Anna and to close the lawsuit before Anna’s death forces Picoult to resolve the ethical dilemma. My Sister's Keeper: The Book
by Jodi Picoult (2003) Narrated by the following characters
Kate Fitzgerald (epilogue)
Narration changes each chapter
Kate has cancer (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia - APL)
Anna is a donor and "designer baby"
Anna tries and successfully sues parents for right to make her own medical decisions
Campbell Alexander - lawyer; Julia Romano - Guardian ad litem
Anna dies in a car crash
Kate recovers from cancer permanently My Sister's Keeper: the movie
Nick Cassavetes (2009) Main Characters:
Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin)
Kate Fitzgerald (Sofia Vassilieva)
Sarah Fitzgerald (Cameron Diaz)
Brian Fitzgerald (Jason Patric)
Jesse Ftizgerald (Evan Ellingson)
Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin)
Similar circumstances of story
Anna wins her court case
Kate passes away from cancer
Jesse is at least four years younger than in the book
Julia does not exist Why should the book and movie pair of My Sister's Keeper be included in the Literature and Film Curriculum? incorporates and juxtaposes all the differences between books and their film versions studied by the curriculum’s current texts.
juxtaposition of differences shows how they interact with each other
gives an over-arching and comprehensive view of the aspects studied in class
ties together everything learned over the semester, and serving as text for a final exam. Brian Fitzgerald Main idea:
book - use the family as a medium to explore the ethical dilemma presented by “designer babies” and organ donation
movie - focus on complex family dynamics and emotions that arise from having a cancer patient and “designer baby.” Audience Reaction Epilogue and
Ending Credits Kate's vs. Anna's death Characterization
and Focus Audience Reaction, Characterization, and Focus Book Movie personable, sweet, sympathetic, lovable high angle shots - seems like vulnerable child eye level shot on her and Kate - accentuates Anna being smaller/cuter (opposite from book) added fire station scene - ability to diffuse tense atmosphere is endearing Book "there are times when my shift is over that I'll stay...The minute I walk through the door at home, I'm worrying about what might happen next" (142) Movie strength, confidence
deals with Kate's cancer instead of subordinating to wife long shot during fight between him and Sarah - accentuates his height over his wife and shows full stature for the first time - power and authority, not subservient and passive “far less concerned with the runny fluid being infused into her catheter than she is with the fact that Taylor hasn’t called her in three days” (320)
clean, innocent relationship with Taylor - unrealistically innocent and lovable optimistic, strong, brave Movie reverse shots during added violence scene - symbolizes inconsistent levels of faith and pessimism bad lighting in added sex scene - symbolize secrecy, lies, deceipt - less innocent and lovable “Fuck them all. I ought to have that tattooed on my forehead, for all the times I’ve thought it…People yell at me behind their closed windows. I give them the finger” (Picoult 93)
independent, grown-up, non-personable delinquent Movie younger by at least four years
profanity, drugs, crime are censored
actions are more excusable
extreme close-up on his face to express dissapointment when father doesn't express interest in his whereabouts
family boy - easier to empathize with
addition of interest in art - medium to convey otherwise hidden emotions to audience in movie: narration is more like background noise because audience can see events from their own perspective
shifting viewpoints are negligible
people are actual characters,, not just pawns Book morally gray, greedy lawyer Movie high camera angle during his and Anna's first meeting
gives father-like power over Anna instead of client-attorney equality
deletion of guardian ad litem - directly involved and protective of Anna Movie man
general lack of emotion around his daughter's death
lack of explanation and depth around all emotional gestures
one dimensional - lack of family focus; all about professional carriage woman - stereotypically emotional --> family over ethics
extreme close-up when talking to Anna - accentuate tears and emotion even in the middle of lawsuit “the nurses holding [her] down to stick [her]…The bruises and the deep bone ache after [she] gave up [her] marrow…the fact that [she’s] not sick but [she] might as well be” (18) emphasis on facts, not on emotions or familial obligation
focus on ethics, not family Book Movie Intermingling of all aspects of difference from current books
A River Runs Through It - different purposes
Sherlock Holmes - different audience reactions
Hamlet - different characterization
Promotes synthesis skills and ability to draw connections, parallels and understand broad, comprehensive, course-wide themes The characterization of Jesse influences the audience reaction and focus of the texts. Jesse’s involvement in drugs and crime directs the book towards a more mature audience. It also adds an extra dimension to the ethics side of the book longer - improve ability to summarize, take notes etc.
study of basic medical ad legal terms - help seniors intending pre-med or pre-law
unique narration - shifting viewpoints The book evokes deeper emotion, empathy, and sadness than the movie
Anna’s death catches the audience by surprise, making it even more painful. Epilogues -
BOOK: stresses the incomplete and ever-lasting void that Kate feels following Anna's death
MOVIE: scene near a mountainside lake, with a beautiful sunset, calming wind and soothing music - leaves the audience with a warm and peaceful feeling MOVIE: Anna “never understood why Kate had to die and [they] all got to live.” - Incertitude gives rise to hope
BOOK - “It has been eight years since my last relapse, something not even Dr. Chance can understand..- but I know better. It is that someone had to go, and Anna took my place” (422). This tragic explanation leaves no room for hope or solace. ~like Hamlet ~like A River Runs Through It ~like Sherlock Holmes