Winning Essays for 2008

2008 Essay Topic: Masterpiece Theatre Adaptations

The 2008 Essay Contest referred to new film adaptations of four Jane Austen novels, which were broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre beginning in January 2008. Students were invited to submit essays on the following topic:

A filmed version of a novel is necessarily an adaptation—an interpretation—of the book, in which dialogue, setting, plot elements, characters, and so forth may be changed or omitted. With reference to one of the following new Austen novel adaptations appearing on Masterpiece Theatre in 2008, discuss how such a change or omission affects element(s) or aspect(s) of the novel portrayed: Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, or Mansfield Park.

High School Division

First Place Winner: Mary E. Chiapetta, home-schooled, Baton Rouge, LA
Essay: Colonel Brandon: Hero in a Flannel Waistcoat
Mentor: Parents, Mike and Joanne Chiapetta
Second Place Winner: Catherine G. Katz, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL
Essay: Nice
Mentor: Leslie Birdwell, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL
Third Place Winner: Drew R. Dakessian, Woodrow Wilson High School, Portland, OR
Essay: Constancy and Inconsistency: Problems with Masterpiece Theatre’s Persuasion
Mentor: Mother

College/University Division

First Place Winner: Rachel M. Carroll, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Essay: Missing the Point: How Mansfield Park Lost both Pleasure and Pain
Mentor: Constance Walker, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Second Place Winner: Jennifer A. Banning, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Essay: Marianne’s Beaux: Looking for Sense and Sensibility in John Alexander’s Film
Mentor: Dr. Joanne Edmonds, Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Third Place Winner: Margaret P. Harvey, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA
Essay: The Sadness of Anne Elliot: Melodrama in Adrian Shergold’s Persuasion
Mentor: Professor Kim Wheatley, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Graduate Division

First Place Winner: Vanessa E. Cook, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany
Essay: Seducing the Viewer: Sex, Power and Heightened Drama in Northanger Abbey (2007)
Second Place Winner: Alexis L. Teagarden, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Essay: Adaptation, Mutation, and This New Mansfield Park
Mentor: Dr. Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Third Place Winner: Jafeen S. Ilmudeen, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Essay: Reviving Elinor
Mentor: Mariana Oller, Clapp Library, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA