The Orphanage Analysis
In the movieThe 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.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, the film titledElOrfanatopresents a family of three; Laura, Carlos and their sonSimónwho return to Laura’s childhood home to re-store the orphanage with plans to care for children with special needs.Simónsoon makes acquaintance with an imaginary friend namedTomásand also befriends five more ghost children, who we later learn are Laura’s childhood friends from the orphanage she grew up in.Simónand 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,Simóngoes missing.
A mysterious social worker namedBenignaappears and Laura discovers the old remains of children in her coal shed. Laura realizes that becauseBenigna’sson,Tomáswas accidently killed by the young orphans,Benignamurdered her childhood friends out of revenge. Laura eventually findsSimón’sdead 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 thatSimón’swish is for Laura to take care of him and all of the lost orphans. Carlos then returns to the house to visit Laura andSimón’sgrave, and discovers the St. Anthony medal that he gave to Laura and smiles.
Brenda’s paraphrase and thesis
In Stephen King’sessayOctober 4, 1957, and an Invitation to Dance,hedescribes 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 Orphanageseems 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 “disaffirmativehorror” 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 experienceinElOrfanatobecause King’s definition of horror involves components of a destroyed reality and tragic losses but suggests that reality isreformedby the reaffirmation of our cultural values that we believe in and draw comfort from (27).
The horror inElOrfanatofosters 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 andSimón, 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.
Re-visit the main point/ideawithoutre-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.
Unquestionably,ElOrfanatoprovides 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 thatSimónforgives her andthat, at the end,Carlos is shown looking up and smiling at the camera, conveying that he has an understanding of her sacrifice,and bringingtogetheranoverall sense of peace and fulfillment.
Should reflect your thesis/main ideaShould be conciseShould catch the reader’s attentionLet yourself be creative!Should NOTsimply re-state the assignmentbe in quotation marksbe underlined, italicized or highlighted in any way
Online writing lab at Purdue University(link from my webpage, right beneath my picture)YourCompClass: MLA Document Format Proficiency
Online writing lab at Purdue UniversityYourCompClass: MLA Document Format Proficiency
ElOrfanato. Dir.Juan A.Bayona. Per.BelénRueda,FernandoCay, RogerPríncep.WarnerBros. 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 toDance.”DanseMacabre. NewYork, NY:BerklyBooks, 1983.Print
You must provide a citation whenever you:-quote-paraphrase-summarizeRemember 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.
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.
I love to write essays!Writing essays is awesome!Because I like to write essays.
IC.IC:periodIC;IC:semi-colon3. IC, andIC:comma and conjunction(FANBOYS)4.DC, IC :change one of the independent clauses
Essays due Wed. 3/21
Bring a hard copy to classTurn 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 beno reminders!