Kim’s summary In the movie The Orphanage, Laura, her husband Carlos, and their son Simon are moving into the childhood orphanage that Laura grew up in. Laura and Carlos have bought the home with the hopes of not only raising their son there, but to use the extra rooms to care for special needs children. Although the large Victorian home is beautiful, it is haunted by ghosts that only seem to communicate with Simon. At the open house Simon goes missing, forcing Laura on a 9 month quest to find him. She later discovers that children she grew up with were killed by an orphanage worker because her own son died playing with them. Laura finds not only their bodies, but also the body of her son Simon who was accidentally locked in the basement by Laura and fell off the banister to his death. Laura decides the only way to see her son again is to kill herself, which she does, and stays in the house with ghosts of the children she used to play with.
Jenifer’s summary Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film titled El Orfanato presents a family of three; Laura, Carlos and their son Simón who return to Laura’s childhood home to re-store the orphanage with plans to care for children with special needs. Simón soon makes acquaintance with an imaginary friend named Tomás and also befriends five more ghost children, who we later learn are Laura’s childhood friends from the orphanage she grew up in. Simón and Laura successfully play a scavenger hunt game with his friends which involve finding the most precious treasure that his friends have stolen and making a wish. Shortly after a brief argument between Laura and her son, Simón goes missing.
Jenifer’s summary, con’t A mysterious social worker named Benigna appears and Laura discovers the old remains of children in her coal shed. Laura realizes that because Benigna’s son, Tomás was accidently killed by the young orphans, Benigna murdered her childhood friends out of revenge. Laura eventually finds Simón’s dead body, trapped inside her home basement and recognizes she unintentionally killed her son. Laura then commits suicide and wishes to be with her son. We learn that Simón’s wish is for Laura to take care of him and all of the lost orphans. Carlos then returns to the house to visit Laura and Simón’s grave, and discovers the St. Anthony medal that he gave to Laura and smiles.
Brenda’s paraphrase and thesis In Stephen King’s essay October 4, 1957, and an Invitation to Dance, he describes some horror fiction as cathartic. Cathartic horror fiction reknits reality around values that allow readers and/or viewers to find a sense of comfort and ease. Cathartic horror fiction may also allow the person to better understand the plot and be at ease as to why things happened the way they did. In this sense, The Orphanage seems to be mostly cathartic.
Jenifer’s paraphrase of Holland-Toll In Linda Holland-Toll’s, “Two Parts Gore and One Pinch Walking Dead: What Exactly is Horror Fiction?” she explains that “disaffirmative horror” includes elements of a continuous state of “dis/ease” and a sense of unavoidable detachment from the comfort of our cultural assumptions and values which are often caused by the realization that the monster itself is a reflection of ourselves, often revealing our failings as a society (2).
Jenifer’s paraphrase of King Stephen King’s definition from his essay, “October 4, 1957, and an Invitation to Dance,” firmly supports a cathartic experience in El Orfanato because King’s definition of horror involves components of a destroyed reality and tragic losses but suggests that reality is reformed by the reaffirmation of our cultural values that we believe in and draw comfort from (27).
Jenifer’s thesis The horror in El Orfanato fosters aspects of cathartic expression in that it confirms the maternal bond between mother and son, eases the unknown tragedy of the lost orphans by providing closure and fulfills the wishes of the main characters, Laura and Simón, leaving a sense of peace.
Open and Closed Thesis statements • Open: states the main point of the essay but does NOT state the major supporting points. • Closed: states the main point of the essay and also includes each of the major supporting points in the order they will be discussed.
Conclusion • Re-visit the main point/idea without re-stating it verbatim. • Answer the question: “So what?” • explain the significance of the discussion; • End on a strong final note or with a powerful final impression.
Jenifer’s conclusion Unquestionably, El Orfanatoprovides us with an overall cathartic experience that is more in line with Stephen King’s version of horror. Laura’s struggles are ultimately resolved in the conclusion of the film due to the fact that Simón forgives her and that, at the end, Carlos is shown looking up and smiling at the camera, conveying that he has an understanding of her sacrifice, and bringing together an overall sense of peace and fulfillment.
Title • Should reflect your thesis/main idea • Should be concise • Should catch the reader’s attention • Let yourself be creative! • Should NOT • simply re-state the assignment • be in quotation marks • be underlined, italicized or highlighted in any way
MLA formatting • Online writing lab at Purdue University • (link from my webpage, right beneath my picture) • YourCompClass: MLA Document Format Proficiency
MLA Citation • Online writing lab at Purdue University • YourCompClass: MLA Document Format Proficiency
Works Cited El Orfanato. Dir. Juan A. Bayona. Per. Belén Rueda, Fernando Cay, Roger Príncep. Warner Bros. 2007. DVD. Holland-Toll, Linda. “Two Parts Gore and One Pinch Walking Dead: What exactly is Horror Fiction?” As American as Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie: Constructing Community in Contemporary American Horror Fiction. Bowling Green, OH: Popular Press, 2001. Print. King, Stephen. “October 4, 1957, and an Invitation to Dance.” Danse Macabre. New York, NY: Berkly Books, 1983. Print
In-text citations You must provide a citation whenever you: -quote -paraphrase -summarize Remember the underlying principle of citation is that it must always be clear which ideas and writing have come from outside sources, and which ideas and writing are the writer’s own.
Conventions • Film and book titles are always italicized. Poems, short stories and series’ titles are placed inside quotation marks. • Quotations: • YourCompClass: Quotation Proficiency
Fragments and Run-ons Independent Clause: -subject, verb and complete thought. Every sentence MUST contain an independent clause in order to be complete.
Fragments • I love to write essays! • Writing essays is awesome! • Because I like to write essays.
Run-ons • IC. IC: period • IC; IC: semi-colon 3. IC, and IC: comma and conjunction (FANBOYS) 4. DC, IC : change one of the independent clauses
Essays due Wed. 3/21 • Bring a hard copy to class • Turn in an electronic copy to TurnItIn.com by Thurs. 3/22 11:59 pm. • Late Pass essays must be submitted on Wed. 3/28 by 5pm via email. There will be no reminders!