This guide is designed for use with Ang Lee's 1995 filmed adaptation of Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Teachers who use this guide can expect their students to expand their knowledge of Austen's novel through its translation to another medium, leaving them better prepared to tackle other works of literature, especially novels, poems and plays of the early nineteenth century.
The world of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY can be a foreign one to today's students. The relationships and journeys of its many characters can be difficult to decipher on the page. Through Lee's film, students are able to gain a greater appreciation of the characters, their circumstances and their society. Viewing Ang Lee's film also lends itself to a satisfying conclusion to students' study of Austen's novel. This flexible guide facilitates this process in a way teachers may easily determine to suit their own students and their own instructional needs.
o Two pages of teacher's notes offer suggestions for the guide's use.
o The first section of the guide asks students to reflect on their study of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, especially its plot, characters, setting and theme(s).
o Students complete the second part of the guide as they watch Lee's film, using a Venn diagram to compare twenty events, noting whether they occur in the film, the novel or both.
o In the final part of the guide, students evaluate the film's actors, the events depicted in its screenplay as compared to those in the novel, themes and other aspects of the movie. They also analyze two of the poems featured in the film.
o A color-coded teacher's key is included.
It is up to you as the teacher to determine how much or how little of this guide you use, and how you apply it in your own classroom. Once you have reviewed the guide and its accompanying teacher's key, you will be able to decide how to best make use of them. You may wish to have students complete their guides individually and turn them in for a grade. You may prefer to have students work in pairs or groups to complete the first and third sections together. If you want to further extend your students' experience of Austen's novel and Lee's film, you may ask them to write persuasive essays regarding actors' performances, the two featured poems or the film's value as an adaptation of the novel.
Whatever you decide, you will find this guide to SENSE AND SENSIBILITY a valuable instructional resource. Your students will regard it as a painless -- even enjoyable -- avenue to deeper understanding of a particular work of literature that better prepares them for their reading and study of future works.