Lesson 1:

View Chapter 1, “Diagnosis,” and discuss its role in the development of 1) themes and 2) character.

Observe and Discuss Film techniques:

·         Music

·         Background and color:

·         Close up (CU) shots and blocking: click here for still shots



→What do we learn about Vivian in this opening scene?

→Why would the director, Mike Nichols, want this to be our first impression of the protagonist?

→What themes and ideas foreshadowed???



→What frameworks does the text provide us for understanding human suffering?


 1. Physical Pain (body)




                                                                                                                                          2. Psychological  aspects (mind)

                                                                                                                 (trauma & mechanisms for coping)



                                                         3.  Metaphysical aspects of pain (soul)


Discuss 1, 2, and 3


Physical:  Click here for still shots







            Click here for still shots


            Still Shots on Symbolism


            Editing Techniques, Symbolism and Point of View


        Coping Mechanisms?


                     Define Metadrama -- Still shots





Chapter 3: “Begin with the text, … not with a feeling.”

Professor E.M. Ashford: “The sonnet begins with a valiant struggle with death, calling on all the forces of intellect and drama to vanquish the enemy. But it is ultimately about overcoming the seemingly insuperable barriers separating life, death, and eternal life.”

“Death Be Not Proud” and “The Runaway Bunny”: Literary Backdrops for Explaining and Interpreting the Metaphysical Aspects of Human Suffering

... What can we learn from suffering??


C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all

seems to be well with it” (90).


“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (91).