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Compare and Contrast Essay Sample on Adaptations of the Original Book

Basics of Compare and Contrast Essay Paper

One of the most common types of essays that students meet during the learning process is comparison and contrast essay. Like any other types of essay, compare and contrast essay has some rules and instructions for writing. By following these instructions, anyone can write a quality essay without much difficulty.

So, the main features of this type of essay are:

  • Clarity and structure;
  • The presence of two objects of comparison within the same category;
  • Clearing of similar and opposite features of compared objects;
  • Logical narration;
  • A detached judgment of an anonymous author about the objects of comparison.

To write the correct comparison and contrast essay, one must organize the workflow and follow this algorithm:

  • Determine the nature of the essay: comparison, contrasts, or both. Set a goal to help write a logical compare and contrast essay example.
  • Select comparison objects on which the essay will be based. For the essay to be logically justified, it is necessary to choose objects from one category, time segment or sphere of functioning.
  • Write a clear thesis that will determine the nature of the future essay.
  • Compose an outline of a future compare and contrast essay sample. This stage will help to structure the essay, as well as highlight the basic thoughts and ideas that need to be revealed in the essay.
  • To use words and phrases typical for this type of essay, such as: on the contrary, on the other hand, however, otherwise, whereas, still, as well as, both, like, in common with, likewise, also, and yet.
  • Follow the rules of the correlation of form and content when writing an essay, for competent disclosure of the topic of work.

The Sample of Compare and Contrast Essay ‘Solaris’

Since the beginning of the era of literary adaptation critics and readers all over the world argue whether screen version of popular books may become an alternative to reading. These claims especially concern books that were made into a film several times and, as a result, the variety of interpretations has appeared. One example is Stanislaw Lem’s novel “Solaris” written in 1961, which has two most famous adaptations by Andrei Tarkovsky, and by Steven Soderbergh. The comparison of these adaptations illustrates how different directors understand the author’s main idea presented in the novel, and how the difference between the ways of adaptation affects the viewers’ perception of “Solaris” in both cases.

The first thing that catches the eye when comparing the film version and the original book is accordance between the content of the film and the book on which the film was shot. In the case of “Solaris,” one can note the predominance of free interpretation of Lem’s idea both in the film adaptation by Andrei Tarkovsky and by Steven Soderbergh. Thus, in the film adaptation by Andrei Tarkovsky, the primary emphasis was placed on the moral aspect of the novel, which, in turn, almost negated the sci-fi character of Stanislaw Lem’s novel. Lem himself was extremely surprised by Tarkovsky’s interpretation and recognized it instead not as a screen version of his book, but as an original independent work. At the same time, the other novel details, such as a plotline, and the names of characters, remained almost unchanged in the film adaptation by Tarkovsky. The director used in his script virtually authentic replicas from Lem’s “Solaris,” which allowed him to create a film version that was as close as possible to the original in content. On the other hand, despite the apparent predominance of sci-fi themes in the film adaptation of Steven Soderbergh, the director made some deviations from the original, which, in turn, led to the change in the general nature of his work. For example, Soderbergh changed some character names like Rheya’s instead of Harey, as well as created additional turns of the plot that were not in Le Solar’s “Solaris” as killing Snaut with his double, Rheya’s pregnancy, Kelvin and Rheya’s return to Earth. Thus, the film adaptation of Soderbergh is significantly different from Lem’s original intention but retains the plotline presented in the novel.

The second peculiarity that should be made clear when comparing a literary work and its film adaptation is the embodiment of the original message of the author to the reader. Therefore, the critics have to decide whether the director succeeded in transmitting it without modification. It can be said that both Tarkovsky’s and Soderbergh’s film versions just partially correspond to the message laid by Lem in his novel. Thus, one of the main Lem’ ideas described in “Solaris” is the idea of establishing contact with another mind to which a person aspires, but often mistakenly searches for it not in another person, but the extraterrestrial civilizations. In the film adaptation by Tarkovsky, this idea stands like a leitmotif, embedded in the mouth of Academician Snaut: “Man needs a man.” At the same time, Tarkovsky deepens the subject of a person’s moral and ethical choice, raising the question of the human conscience. This motive presents Lem’s novel too. However, the author gives it much less attention than Tarkovsky. On the other hand, in Steven Soderbergh’s film adaptation, the idea of contact is represented rather weakly, giving way to the problem of human relations and mutual forgiveness. The plot of the film develops mainly on Earth, the main characters reflect on their past and try to find answers to questions that remained unresolved earlier. Moreover, the interpretation of Soderbergh significantly deviates from the original Lem’s intention. It can be assumed that the director focused his attention precisely on the aspect of human relations and transferred the action to Earth to evoke sympathy from the viewer and to make Lem’s story closer to a wide audience.

Thus, the film adaptations made by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh differ significantly from each other, despite the general plot underlying their adaptations. While Tarkovsky seeks to preserve the general mood of Lem’s novel and to focus the viewer’s attention on the moral and ethical problems of the story, Soderbergh creates a film that is most adapted to the modern viewer, exposing the central issues of human relationships. It can be said that both of the screen versions are not an exact retelling of Stanislaw Lem’s “Solaris,” but rather the independent works based on the existing plot. A comparison of the book and the two existing screen versions shows the significant role played by the directors’ personalities, their understanding of the original Lem’s idea, and the final purpose of their screen version of Stanislaw Lem’s novel “Solaris.”

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

Post-writing Tips

The above compare and contrast essay example can be used to familiarize oneself with the practical application of the norms and rules for writing a comparison and contrasting essay. This сompare and contrast essay sample includes both a comparison and an opposition, which often happens in this type of essay. The example shows the main elements of the form and content typical for this type of essay.

First, it should be noted that the above-presented essay has a clear structure, due to the main purpose of the essay. The essay begins with an introduction, which is 15% of the total length of the work. The introduction tells the readers what the essay will be about, giving a general assessment of the problem revealed in the essay. The thesis, placed at the end of the introduction, reflects the key idea of the entire essay and is the link between the introduction and the main part of the work. The thesis is one of the most important parts of the work; therefore, when writing one, it is necessary to formulate a thought or problem that needs to be revealed in an essay. In the process of writing the introduction, one should avoid appeals, rhetorical questions or introducing quotations, since this part of the work, just like the conclusions, must be generalized.

Second, the main part of the essay covers the topic indicated in the thesis and is subordinated to a certain structure. Thus, the comparison and opposition of objects are conventionally divided into two stages. The latter, in turn, consists of two paragraphs each. Such structuring of the work allows building a logical narration, as well as consistently providing examples and revealing the theme of the essay. Nevertheless, there are different schemes for constructing the main part of the essay, which the writer can choose depending on the offline essay and its main theme. The central condition is the logical presentation of the material and the structure of the type of the essay. The essay ends with conclusions that summarize the main points disclosed in the essay and confirm that the topic outlined in the thesis was disclosed during the writing of the work. The conclusions do not contain any new information but are summing up and combining the main ideas presented in the essay. Since in the above example the basic norms and rules regarding the structure and content of the comparison and comparison essay are observed, I hope that this work will be useful to students and writers when working on this type of essay, as well as help to understand the issues that may arise in the process of work.