Essay about The Case Of Mildred Pierce

808 Words Sep 18th, 2015 4 Pages
Point of view, as Dr. Casper simply put it, is “who is telling the story.” Although Dr. Casper’s definition indicates that point of view is an unsophisticated literary element, it actually plays a complex and significant role in the development of, in the case of Mildred Pierce, a film or novel. In both film and literature, the writer provides us with point of view. James M. Cain, author of the novel, and Ranald MacDougall, screenwriter of the Michael Curtiz film, take tremendously different approaches to developing point of view in their respective works. The film adaptation of Mildred Pierce offers a first person outside point of view, with Mildred herself narrating the sequence of events. Mildred’s narration establishes a biased perspective of the story, which works well in building suspense and producing shock at the outcome. Cain writes the novel from the perspective of a third-person narrator, which, at times, permits the novel to explain Mildred’s character better than Mildred explains herself as narrator of the film. Each point of view makes sense for its respective work because there are some discrepancies between the novel and the film. The incongruities between them do not make one work more quality than the other; the different points of view work equalize the novel and the film. It is important to analyze point of view because, as proven by the print and screen versions of Mildred Pierce, point of view plays a role in the success, or lack thereof, of a work.…

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