Adaptation and Original in the EFL-classroom : An Analysis of Different Versions of The Handmaid's Tale

University essay from Jönköping University/HLK, Ämnesforskning

Abstract: This qualitative study aims to examine the differences between Margaret Atwood’s novel and Bruce Miller’s adapted version of The Handmaid’s Tale by the application of adaptation, as well as, feminist theory. An additional aim is to investigate the didactic potential of using both the original version and the TV series adaptation in the EFL-classroom, this in relation to the Curriculum for English at upper secondary level. The two research questions addressed in this study were: What are the main differences between the adapted version and the original version? and, in relation to the EFL-classroom and the subject English 7, what can be gained by working comparatively with the original version and the TV series adaptation? The essay is examined by using adaptation theory and feminist theory. The findings of the analysis presented in this study show for example that the television adaptation features a more feminist portrayal of the female characters than the original story. In addition, the findings of this study suggests that by using both texts in the EFL-classroom, one can get the opportunity to highlight prominent themes within the two media which were discovered in this study. For example, discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Therefore, by comparing the two texts, students may become aware of differences between how the two texts are able to portray such indifferences as mentioned above. In an educational setting this is useful since by working with questions which aims to compare both texts in the EFL-classroom, students also get the chance to deal with various living conditions and attitudes in relation to both the historical and contemporary English-speaking world (Skolverket 2011, p. 4). 

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