Monday 10/15 Andrew Garafalo

In class on Monday we began our discussion of Washington Square  by Henry James, along with the play based on it, and two film adaptations. We discussed the time period in which the author wrote the novel, and the time in which the novel takes place. We concluded that the play was able to take place in 1850 because the civil war had not yet  began. This was an interesting point about the novel that I had never considered before.

“The Heiress” is the 1949 film version of Washington Square. We learned the name of the film was changed because the producers considered “The Heiress” to be a more understandable and relatable title than “Washington Square”. I preferred the portrayal of characters in this version rather than those in the more recent film. I thought the actor who played Morris Townsend in this version was more true to his characteristics in the novel. He brought out a better portrayal of cleverness. With the addition of color in the newer film, it was easier to notice details such as the color of Catherine’s dress. The character who played Catherine in the black and white version seemed more socially awkward and timid compared to the other film. I imagined that the play would be more similar to the 1949  version.